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Uterine Cancer

Sometimes called endometrial cancer, uterine cancer is the most common form of gynecological cancer. It grows in the tissue that lines the inner portion of the uterus.

A majority of cases can be found among women age 50 or older and uterine cancer is most prevalent among Caucasian women.

Uterine Cancer Symptoms

  • Abnormal bleeding, spotting or discharge
  • Pelvic pain/feeling of mass
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you experience any symptoms as outlined above, talk to your doctor. Remember that regular screening and listening to your body are key to cancer prevention and long-term wellness. Call 800.237.8662 to make an appointment with your doctor.

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Risk Factors for Uterine Cancer

  • Estrogen therapy. A typical form of treatment for menopause symptoms but, if estrogen is used without progesterone, uterine cancer has been known to develop.
  • Total number of menstrual cycles. The more menstrual cycles a woman has during her lifetime increases the chance of developing uterine cancer. As a result, the earlier in life a woman starts menstruating and the longer a woman goes before menopause, the chances of developing uterine cancer increase.
  • Lack of pregnancy. Women who have not been pregnant or those who are infertile have a higher risk of developing the cancer.
  • Tamoxifen. A drug used to treat breast cancer. Though rare, it is a risk factor for uterine cancer because the drug functions like estrogen in the uterus.
  • Obesity. Uterine cancer is three times more common among obese women than those at a healthier weight.
  • Ovarian tumors. Certain types of tumors can release estrogen, causing a hormone imbalance that sometimes leads to uterine cancer.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndromes (PCOS). Women with PCOS have abnormal hormone levels, which can increase the chance of development.
  • Age. The chance of developing this form of cancer increases with age.
  • Diet. An unhealthy diet can increase the chance of developing cancer, especially because weight gain, which is also a risk factor.
  • Diabetes. Women with diabetes are four times more likely to develop uterine cancer.
  • Prior pelvic radiation therapy. Radiation used to treat another form of cancer can damage the DNA of cells, sometimes increasing the risk of a second type of cancer such as uterine cancer.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia. Endometrial hyperplasia is an increased growth of the endometrium. Mild or simple hyperplasia, which is the most common type, has a very small risk of becoming cancerous.
  • Family history. If several family members have/had uterine cancer, your healthcare professional may recommend genetic testing.

Uterine Cancer Treatment

The primary form of treatment for uterine cancer is surgery. In most cases, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) is performed. Depending on the individual case and the stage of cancer, radiation and/or chemotherapy may be recommended.

Find out more about our gynecologic cancer treatment program and gynecologic cancer screening services in the Akron area.

Uterine / Endometrial Cancer Survivor Story


Debra Racey is grateful for her Summa Health care team. 

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