Cancers of the uterus are divided into two categories: endometrial cancer and uterine sarcomas. Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lining (endometrium) of the uterus and is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States.
Endometrial cancer is often detected at an early stage because it frequently produces abnormal vaginal bleeding, which prompts women to see their doctors. In most cases, surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) is the only treatment required. Sometimes radiation is given after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence. Chemotherapy is also a tool used to treat endometrial cancer but less often used.
In young women desiring preservation of fertility, it is sometimes safe to treat early uterine cancer and pre-cancerous changes of the endometrium with high doses of progesterone in an effort to preserve the uterus and give the woman the option to carry a pregnancy in the future.
Uterine sarcomas are rare and typically treated with surgery to remove the uterus. In more advanced stages of uterine sarcoma, chemotherapy may follow the surgery.
Women with Lynch Syndrome are at increased risk of uterine cancer and may elect to have the uterus removed upon completion of childbearing.