Uterine cancer, also known as womb cancer, are two types of cancer that develops from the tissues of the uterus. Endometrial cancer forms from the lining of the uterus and uterine sarcoma forms from the muscles or support tissue of the uterus. Symptoms of endometrial cancer include unusual vaginal bleeding or pain in the pelvis. Symptoms of uterine sarcoma include unusual vaginal bleeding or a mass in the vagina.The terms uterine cancer and womb cancer may refer to any of several different types of cancer which occur in the uterus, namely:
Risk factors for endometrial cancer include obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and a family history of the condition. Risk factors for uterine sarcoma include prior radiation therapy to the pelvis. Diagnosis of endometrial cancer is typically based on an endometrial biopsy. A diagnosis of uterine sarcoma may be suspected based on symptoms, a pelvic exam, and medical imaging.
Endometrial cancer can often be cured while uterine sarcoma typically is harder to treat. Treatment may include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. Just over 80% of people survive more than 5 years following diagnosis.
It is not known with certainty what the causes for uterine cancer may be, though hormone imbalance is speculated as a risk factor. Estrogen receptors, known to be present on the surfaces of the cells of this type of cancer, are thought to interact with the hormone causing increased cell growth, which can then result in cancer. The exact mechanism of how this occurs is not understood
The endometrium is the inner epithelial layer, along with its mucous membrane, of the mammalian uterus. It has a basal layer and a functional layer; the functional layer thickens and then is sloughed during the menstrual cycle or estrous cycle. During pregnancy, the uterine glands and blood vessels in the endometrium further increase in size and number and form the decidua. Vascular spaces fuse and become interconnected, forming the placenta, which supplies oxygen and nutrition to the embryo and fetus.