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Uterine cancer

This page was reviewed under our medical and editorial policy by Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science

This page was updated on August 29, 2022.

Uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Around 67,880 women will be diagnosed with the cancer in 2024. The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that the average age for a uterine cancer patient is 60 years old, and the disease is uncommon in women under 45.

No uterine cancer patient is the same. Get personalized treatment.

Uterine cancer is such an important focus at City of Hope that our hospitals in Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix have a Gynecologic Cancer Center, focusing on treating women with cancer of the reproductive organs. Our gynecologic oncologists use evidence-based medicine to develop individualized treatment plans for each uterine cancer patient. Treatment plans may include surgery, chemotherapy or targeted therapy. Each patient’s treatment plan is tailored to her individual needs, including fertility-sparing surgery, which may be a potential option for women of child-bearing years. Your cancer team may also include an oncology-trained, registered dietitian, naturopathic provider and care manager. For women who experience sexual side effects resulting from their treatment, our Survivorship Support program offers educational resources, as well as tips and strategies to manage, and when possible, prevent loss of libido, pain and other challenges.

This overview will cover the basic facts about uterine cancer, including:

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of uterine cancer and want to schedule an appointment for diagnostic testing, or if you’re interested in a second opinion for uterine cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, call us or chat online with a member of our team.

What causes uterine cancer?

Who gets uterine cancer?

Uterine cancer is most common in women over the age of 50, usually during or after menopause. While white women are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease, African American women are more likely have advanced uterine cancer and—along with Hispanic women—more aggressive tumors. Obese women also are at significantly higher risk of uterine cancer.

About 3.1 percent of women will be diagnosed with uterine cancer at some point during their lifetime, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says.

Zorta E.

Zorta E.

Uterine Cancer

"City of Hope worked with me to accommodate my job schedule because I didn’t want to miss any work. I came in and did tests one day and then returned another day to get my results. I met with my care team and, most importantly, my gynecologic oncologist. Throughout the entire process, I felt I received thorough explanations, and I did not feel rushed when I had questions. "


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Uterine cancer types

The types of uterine cancer fall into two main categories:

  • Adenocarcinoma, or endometrial cancer, which makes up more than 90 percent of uterine cancers. It develops in cells in the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus. Endometrial cancer is often diagnosed early and treated with surgery alone. A common subtype of this cancer is endometrioid carcinoma. Other, less common subtypes include serous adenocarcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, uterine clear-cell carcinoma and uterine carcinosarcoma (a mix of adenocarcinoma and sarcoma).
  • Uterine sarcoma, which develops in the myometrium—the uterine muscle or wall—or in the supporting tissues of the uterine glands. Endometrial sarcoma subtypes include uterine leiomyosarcoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma and undifferentiated sarcoma.

Cancer that forms in the cervix of the uterus is not considered a uterine cancer; instead, it’s called cervical cancer. Your doctor will perform testing to determine the type of cancer you have so the care team can develop a uterine cancer treatment plan.

Learn more about uterine cancer types

Uterine cancer symptoms

Diagnosing uterine cancer

The following procedures or tests may be used to diagnose uterine cancer:

  • Physical exam
  • Pelvic exam
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Sentinel lymph-node biopsy
  • Dilation & curettage (D&C) with hysteroscopy
  • Imaging tests, including ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Laboratory tests, including advanced genomic testing and CA-125 blood test 

Learn more about diagnostic procedures for uterine cancer

Treating uterine cancer

Uterine cancer diagnosis and treatment options at our City of Hope Gynecologic Cancer Centers

At City of Hope, we recognize that cancers of the female reproductive system affect women in unique ways. That’s why we created the Women’s Cancer Center at our Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix hospitals, located around the country. At these specially designed centers, our multidisciplinary team of doctors and clinicians are singularly focused on screening, diagnosing and treating breast cancer and gynecologic cancers with a sense of urgency. Our supportive care services are designed to help address symptoms and side effects, to help you have the strength and stamina to continue your treatment and the quality of life to help you continue everyday activities throughout your cancer journey.

Within each Women’s Cancer Center, we offer patients with uterine and other gynecologic patients even more specialized care at our Gynecologic Cancer Centers, where our care teams treat each patient’s specific cancer using standard-of-care and, when appropriate, innovative precision medicine treatments.

If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine cancer, you want a team of experts trained and experienced in treating the disease supporting you throughout your journey. At our Gynecologic Cancer Centers, our care teams treat each patient’s specific cancer using standard-of-care and, when appropriate, innovative precision medicine treatments, while also offering evidence-informed supportive care services designed to help patients manage cancer-related symptoms and side effects.

Deciding on which cancer treatment is right for you is an important part of the treatment plan process, and each patient has a central role in the decision-making process. Each uterine patient’s care team is led by a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who treats cancers of the female reproductive system. The team will oversee the many aspects of your uterine cancer diagnosis and treatment, including reviewing your medical records and history, performing a pelvic exam and lab tests, when necessary, and ordering diagnostic procedures to help determine a treatment plan designed just for you and your needs.

Your gynecologic oncologist will discuss with you and your caregiver the treatment options available to you, while also sharing the ways supportive care services may be incorporated into your cancer treatment plan. These strategies—like nutritional support, pain management and oncology rehabilitation—are designed to help you manage, and when possible, prevent treatment-related side effects and maintain your quality of life, so you can feel better while getting better.