Women's Cancer Research Foundation Ovari

About Uterine Cancer

Uterine Cancer, also referred to as Endometrial Cancer, is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States. 

All women are at risk for uterine cancer, however, the risk increases with age and is more prevalent in women that have gone through, or are going through, menopause.

What is Uterine Cancer?

When cancer starts in the uterus, it is called uterine cancer. The uterus is a small, pear-shaped organ that is located in the area below your stomach and in between your hip bones. The most common form of uterine cancer is endometrial cancer because it forms in the endometrium, which is the lining of your uterus. 

All women are at risk for uterine cancer however, the risk increase with age. In addition, women that have gone through, or are going through menopause are at a higher risk. In addition to age, uterine cancer is a higher risk for women that are obese and also women that estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy over many years. 

Several factors can potentially increase your risk for uterine cancer.

  • Over the age of 50

  • Obesity (unhealthy body fat ratio)

  • Estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy

  • Complications conceiving

  • Fewer than five menstrual cycles in the year preceding menopause

  • Taking tamoxifen, a drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer

  • A family history of uterine, colon, or ovarian cancer

  • Diabetes (often associated with obesity)

  • Radiation therapy for other cancers in the pelvic region (area below your stomach and between your hip bones)

While the above risk factors do not mean that you will get uterine cancer they do increase your risk. It is imperative that you speak with your doctor, review your medical history, and determine if you should receive more frequent exams/screenings.