What is Endometrial Cancer?
Cancer occurs when cells in the body begin changing and growing out of control. Cancer cells can form lumps of tissue called tumors. Cancer that starts in the lining of the uterus is called endometrial cancer.
Understanding the uterus and endometrium
The uterus is the organ that holds the baby when a woman is pregnant. The endometrium is the inside lining of the uterus. Each month, the lining grows and thickens to prepare for pregnancy. This thickened lining helps to nourish a growing baby. If a woman doesn’t become pregnant, she has her period. This is the shedding of the lining of the uterus.
When endometrial cancer forms
The endometrium is the most common place in the uterus for cancer to begin. It's the most common type of gynecologic cancer. Cancer can destroy tissue in the uterus. Cancer cells may spread to nearby organs. They can also spread to other parts of the body. When cancer spreads, it is called metastasis. In general, the more extensively cancer spreads, the harder it is to treat.
Treatment options for cancer of the uterus
You and your health care provider will discuss your treatment options. These may include:
Surgery to remove the uterus.
Radiation therapy. This uses directed rays of high-energy to kill cancer cells.
Chemotherapy. This uses strong medications to kill cancer cells.
Hormone therapy. This may help slow the growth of cancer cells.