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Cancer of Uterus

Updated on October 18, 2010

Endometrial Carcinoma

This is a cancer of significant magnitude and all women should know about it in depth. It is the fourth most common cancer among women. It is cancer of the lining of the uterus, with the most common type involving the mucus secreting cells of the the uterus; Adenocarcinoma.

Endometrial cancer is often detected at an early stage because it frequently produces vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods or after menopause. If endometrial cancer is discovered early, removing the uterus surgically often eliminates all of the cancer.

Mortality is higher in black women than in white women and it affects women in their seventh decade of life, although most patients are aged 50-59 years. Approximately 5% of women younger than 40 years have adenocarcinoma, and 20-25% of women are diagnosed before menopause. Because approximately 75% of women with endometrial cancer are postmenopausal, the most common symptom is postmenopausal bleeding.

Risk factors

The most notable

  1. Nulliparity (never been pregnant) increases risk 2- to 3-fold compared with parity.
  2. Late menopause >52years of age appears to have increased risk
  3. Obesity has been shown to carry a 2 fold increase in risk
  4. Unopposed estrogen- continuous replacement therapies and cancer producing estrogen or estrogen like hormones for a long time. Obese patients have an increased amount of estrogen.

Cigarette smoking apparently decreases the risk of developing endometrial cancer. This is more noted in obese women. Women who smoke undergo menopause earlier. Despite this advantage the risks of smoking outweigh the risk of smoking so it not a solution.

Combination oral contraceptives, increasing data indicate that the use of combination oral contraceptives (OCs) decreases the risk of developing endometrial cancer.

This protection occurs in women who have used OCs for at least 12 months, and the protection continues for at least 10 years after OC use. Protection is most notable for nulliparous women.


Diagnosis is relatively simple. It is done by an endometrial biopsy, that can be done quickly and all your have to do is await your results.


The main form of treatment is surgical. Since most patient are detected early most undergo hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy,(removal of ovaries and tubes). The lymph nodes that drain the uterus are also removed as a security measure.

Depending on the surgical findings some patients will be put on chemotherapy to kill remaining cancer cells.Cisplatin is the most common chemotherapy drug used.

Famous people who had Cancer of the Uterus

  1. Anne Bancroft
  2. María Eva Duarte de Perón
  3. Mara Manzan

Still researching for more


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    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 7 years ago

      My mother died from cancer of the uterus. This is good information for all women. Just having the surgery is often not enough. Loose cells escape and can keep living and growing. That is what happened to my mother.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      very good information on the fourth killer cancer for women, Congrats, youre expecting a baby and thanks for reading my hubs about pregnancy, Maita

    • Majidsiko profile image

      Majidsiko 8 years ago from Kenya

      Glad to help, loveofnight but i am sure that's a contributing a factor. If I find out more I'll let you know.

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      i am totally surprised at the statement that women who smoke go through menopause early, i am a smoker and started menopause when i was in my mid 30s,i always wondered why.....thx 4 share