Question

Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer

Is endometrial cancer the same as uterine cancer?

A Answers (2)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Treatment of Cancer of the Uterus
    Cancer of the uterus most often begins in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, and is sometimes referred to as endometrial cancer. Watch as Dr. Oz talks about cancer of the uterus.


  • ALarry E. Puls, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered on behalf of Greenville Health System

    The answer is technically no.

    Endometrial cancer does occur within the uterus, but it starts in the inside lining of the uterus, which is called the endometrium. The endometrium is the area that is responsible for a woman's menstrual bleeding. It is very susceptible to the influence of the hormone estrogen. The ovaries primarily produce estrogen, but fat cells also produce estrogen. For this reason, with the significant rise in obesity in the US, endometrial cancer has become very common. In non-smoking women, endometrial cancer is the third most common cancer in the US!

    Uterine cancer starts in the tissue that surrounds or supports the endometrium, the uterus. The uterus is largely made up of muscle, which is responsible for the contractions of labor. Some women unfortunately get cancers in that muscle. This is called a leiomyosarcoma. There are several varieties of sarcomas that occur in uterine supportive tissue; they act and spread differently from the more common endometrial cancers. 

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Where does cancer of the uterus start?