Is endometrial cancer the same as uterine cancer?

Larry E. Puls, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
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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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
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.

Continue Learning about Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer

Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer

Starting in the lining of a womans uterus, endometrial cancer is caused when your body has a hormonal imbalance.When you have too much of the hormone estrogen relative to the hormone progesterone, the lining of the uterus grows to...

o thick and allows tumors to grow. The hormonal imbalance may be caused by using estrogen to treat menopause or by having ovarian tumors that produce estrogen. Obesity also increases your risk; fat cells make extra estrogen that isnt balanced out with more progesterone. Hormonal birth control can reduce your risk of endometrial cancer, although keep in mind it has risks of its own. Studies show you can remain protected from this cancer for up to 10 years after you stop taking hormonal birth control. Call your doctor if you have vaginal bleeding or unexplained weight loss. When found early, endometrial cancer is very treatable. Aggressive treatments may include removal of parts of the female reproductive system, including the uterus and ovaries.

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