Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lining of the womb (uterus). The uterus is a hollow, muscular organ where a fetus grows. Endometrial cancer affects the female reproductive system and the most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding. It is sometimes called uterine cancer and most commonly occurs after menopause. If endometrial cancer is detected early, surgical removal of the uterus often cures endometrial cancer.

The stages of endometrial cancer are:

  • Stage 1: The cancer is only in the uterus
  • Stage 2: The cancer is in the uterus and cervix
  • Stage 3: The cancer has reached outside the uterus (may involve the lymph nodes in the pelvis or near the aorta)
  • Stage 4: The cancer has reached to the inner surface of the bowel, bladder, stomach and other organs



Signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Watery/bloody discharge from the vagina
  • Pelvic pai
  • Painful intercourse



Although doctors don't know what causes endometrial cancer, it is known that there is a trigger that creates a genetic mutation within cells in the lining of the uterus (endomentrium). This means that normal, healthy cells are turned into abnormal cells that multiply out of control and don’t diet at a set time. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass called a tumor and can invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body.


Risk factors 

Factors that are associated with the risk of developing endometrial cancer include:

  • Never having been pregnant
  • Older age
  • Being overweight (excess fat alters the balance of the body’s hormones)
  • Hormonal changes in a woman’s body (irregular ovulation pattern)
  • Hormone therapy for breast cancer (use of the drug tamoxifen)
  • Inherited colon cancer syndrome (gene mutation passed from parent to child)



A particular complication that can arise from endometrial cancer is spreading of the tumor to other parts of the body (most often the lungs) making it more difficult to treat.



A few recommendations that can help prevent endometrial cancer include:

  • Taking birth control pills
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and weight
  • Exercising as part of a daily routine
  • Talking to a doctor about the risks of hormone therapy after menopause