Cancer Home > Uterine Cancer

Most cases of uterine cancer develop in the lining of the uterus. Common symptoms of this disease include bleeding or discharge not related to menstruation, pain during urination, pain during sex, and pain in the pelvic area. Treatment for cancer of the uterus can include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of treatments. In many cases, this form of cancer is highly curable.

What Is Uterine Cancer?

Uterine cancer is a disease in which cancer cells first form in the tissues of the uterus. Most cases of this disease occur in the lining (endometrium) of the uterus. This article uses the term "uterine cancer" to refer to this type of cancer, also known as endometrial cancer. This article does not discuss a rare type of uterine cancer that can occur in the muscles or other tissues that support the uterus. Click Uterine Sarcoma for more information on this topic.


Understanding the Uterus

The uterus is part of a woman's reproductive system that is located in the pelvis between the bladder and the rectum. The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows. The narrow, lower portion of the uterus is called the cervix. The broad, middle part of the uterus is called the body, or the corpus. The dome-shaped top of the uterus is called the fundus. The fallopian tubes extend from either side of the top of the uterus to the ovaries.

The Uterus and Other Reproductive Organs

The wall of the uterus has two layers of tissue. The inner layer, or lining, is the endometrium and the outer layer is muscle tissue called the myometrium. In women of childbearing age, the lining of the uterus grows and thickens each month to prepare for pregnancy. If a woman does not become pregnant, the thick, bloody lining flows out of the body through the vagina. This flow is called menstruation.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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