Uterine cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the uterus, also known as the womb.

The lower portion of the uterus that is closest to the vagina is called the cervix. When cancer develops in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer.

The walls of the uterus that do not include the cervix are made of two types of lining. The endometrium is the inner lining and the myometrium is the muscular, outer lining. The most common type of uterine cancer, called adenocarcinoma, begins in the endometrium. Less common cancers, called sarcomas, begin in the myometrium. This fact sheet will focus on endometrial cancer.

Uterine Cancer
Uterine Cancer
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Cancer occurs when cells in the body, in this case uterus cells, divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.

The exact cause of uterine cancer is unknown. Exposure to estrogen seems to be strongly related to the development of this cancer.