Uterine Cancer

Uterine Cancer Symptoms and Information Image

Uterine cancer, also called endometrial cancer and uterine adenocarcinoma, involves a malignant growth that originates in the lining of the uterus, more formally known as the endometrium. Uterine cancer may spread (metastasize) within the female reproductive organs or to other parts of the body.

Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system. Cancers of the uterus mainly affect post-menopausal women, between the ages of fifty and sixty.

Uterine Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms that may indicate the presence of endometrial cancer include:

  • bleeding from the uterus (one of the more common uterine cancer symptoms in post-menopausal women)
  • thin, white or clear vaginal discharge in post-menopausal women
  • vaginal bleeding or spotting in post-menopausal women may indicate uterine cancer
  • abnormal uterine bleeding in pre-menopausal women
  • heavy periods or bleeding between normal periods in pre-menopausal women
  • abdominal mass
  • lower abdominal or pelvic pain and cramping
  • pain during intercourse.

A third of post-menopausal women with bleeding from the uterus have endometrial cancer. Women with symptoms of uterine bleeding should consult their doctor immediately.

Female Reproductive SystemPrognosis for Endometrial Cancer

In general, women with uterine cancer have good survival rates, with a 5-year overall survival rate of 75 percent. Individual survival, however, depends on the type, grade and stage of the tumor. Luckily, most uterine cancers are detected at an early stage where they are still limited to the body of the uterus. In these cases, surgical removal of the uterus by hysterectomy can achieve cure rates of eighty to ninety percent.

Uterine Cancer Statistics

  • Incidence of endometrial cancer in U.S women is one to two percent, with around 35,000 new cases of uterine cancer diagnosed annually.
  • Occurrences of uterine cancer peak between the ages of sixty and seventy, with an average age of sixty.
  • Approximately two to five percent of uterine cancers occur before the age of forty.
  • An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 American women die fromendometrial cancer each year.
  • Endometrial cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women in the U.S.
  • Uterine cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women worldwide.
  • The incidence of endometrial cancer in the U.S. is higher for Caucasian women than for African-American women.