Endometrial / Uterine Cancer

Overview

Every year, more than 60,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with endometrial/uterine cancer. At City of Hope, we treat you as a valued individual. Our entire uterine/endometrial cancer team works together to bring you advanced surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and supportive care options that will deliver the best outcome for you.

Request a Consultation

If you have been diagnosed with uterine cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment,  request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.

City of Hope is a nationally recognized leader in the research and treatment of gynecological cancers. We are one of the few facilities designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute and U.S. News & World Report has named City of Hope one of the top cancer hospitals in America. U.S. News also named City of Hope’s gynecological program as one of the top in the nation.

Our multidisciplinary staff pursues an integrated approach to treating uterine/endometrial cancer by combining the latest research findings with outstanding patient care.

Highlights of our endometrial cancer program include:

  • Innovative, minimally invasive surgical approaches, reducing pain, blood loss and recovery time
  • Cytoreductive (debulking) surgery procedures that can improve outcomes
  • Highly precise radiation delivery, increasing its effectiveness against cancer while reducing exposure to normal tissues
  • Comprehensive diagnostic tools
  • Individually customized chemotherapy regimens, including intraperitoneal and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy
  • Fertility-preserving treatment options

NEWS & BREAKTHROUGHS

What is endometrial/uterine cancer?

There are two types of uterine cancer: endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma. Uterine sarcoma is uncommon and forms in the uterine muscles or tissues. Endometrial cancer is the most common type, and it occurs when malignant cells develop in the lining of the uterus (endometrium).

What increases your risk of endometrial/uterine cancer?

Several factors may increase your risk for endometrial/uterine cancer, including:

  • Age: Women older than 50 are more likely to develop endometrial/uterine cancer.
  • Obesity: Being obese or overweight increases a woman’s risk.
  • Fertility issues: difficulty getting pregnant or having irregular periods
  • Previous medical treatment: If you took tamoxifen during breast cancer treatment or estrogen without progesterone for hormone replacement, you may have an increased risk of endometrial/uterine cancer.
  • Family history: Having close family members who have had uterine, colon or ovarian cancer increases your risk.

What are the symptoms of endometrial/uterine cancer?

It is important to know your body and what is normal for you so you can identify the warning signs or symptoms of endometrial/uterine cancer.

Symptoms of endometrial/uterine cancer include:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling a mass
  • Abnormal vagina discharge 

What are the symptoms of endometrial/uterine cancer?

It is important to know your body and what is normal for you so you can identify the warning signs or symptoms of endometrial/uterine cancer.

Symptoms of endometrial/uterine cancer include:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling a mass
  • Abnormal vagina discharge 

Diagnosing endometrial/uterine cancer

Early detection of endometrial/uterine cancer improves the chances that treatment will be successful. If you are experiencing symptoms such as unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain or abnormal vaginal discharge, see your doctor.

How is endometrial/uterine cancer detected?        

After an assessment of your symptoms, risk factors and medical history in addition to a physical and pelvic exam, you may undergo one or more of the following tests to help detect endometrial/uterine cancer:

CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure takes detailed pictures of areas inside the body from varying angles. The images are created by a computer connected to an X-ray machine.

Pelvic ultrasound: This noninvasive test produces images of female pelvic organs like the vagina, uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Transvaginal ultrasound: For this test, a probe is inserted into the vagina to collect images of the reproductive organs.

Endometrial biopsy: During an endometrial biopsy, a small sample of the uterine lining is removed to examine.

Hysteroscopy: This procedure allows for a thorough examination of the uterus and cervix using a hysteroscope, a thin tube with a light attached that is then inserted into the uterus.

Dilation and curettage (D&C): This procedure removes tissue from inside the uterus to examine.

How we stage endometrial/uterine cancer

Proper staging of endometrial/uterine cancer is important in creating an effective treatment plan.

  • In Stage 1, cancer is confined to the uterus.
  • In Stage 2, the cancer has spread to the cervix.
  • By Stage 3, the cancer has spread beyond the uterus and cervix to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina and lymph nodes nearby.
  • Stage 4 indicates that the cancer has spread further than the pelvic area to organs like the bladder, abdomen, intestine or other parts of the body.

Endometrial/uterine cancer treatment options

If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine or endometrial cancer, there are several different treatment options available. Our dedicated team of experts take a patient-centered approach to creating a treatment plan based on your specific situation.

Here at City of Hope, we use the latest advances to help treat endometrial/uterine cancer at any stage.

Some of the treatments we use include:

Surgery

City of Hope surgeons are experts in the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques that result in less pain and scarring, less loss of blood and a faster return to normal life.

We offer the latest advances in the surgical management of endometrial cancer provided by specially trained gynecologic oncology surgeons. For women with endometrial cancer, our goal is to locate and remove as much of the tumor tissue as possible. This type of surgery, known as “debulking,” helps us to understand the extent of the cancer in the uterus and elsewhere in the abdomen, and allows us to remove all of the visible cancer.

Total hysterectomy: Also known as a complete hysterectomy, this surgery removes the whole uterus and cervix.

Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: This procedure removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Radical hysterectomy: A radical hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix and part of the vagina. In some cases, the ovaries, fallopian tubes and nearby lymph nodes may also require removal.

Radiation therapy

At City of Hope, we are experts in the use of highly precise radiation delivery, increasing its effectiveness against cancer while reducing exposure to normal tissues.

For external beam radiation, we offer image-guided therapies that can minimize toxicity to nearby organs (bowel, bladder and rectum). By using advanced imaging technologies such as positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and three-dimensional computed tomography scans, our team can accurately determine the tumor’s location so radiation delivery can be more focused and intense on cancer cells.

Combined with advanced radiation delivery systems (such as TomoTherapy), our team can accurately focus radiation on tumor sites while avoiding nearby normal tissues. In the two left images below, the glowing areas are gynecologic tumors that disappeared (in the right images) after TomoTherapy treatment. City of Hope also offers brachytherapy (internal radiation) for patients as well. 

Drug therapy

Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. The medicines are made to attack and kill all fast growing cells in the body, some of which are normal cells. Because of this, chemotherapy can also harm those cells, causing side effects.

At City of Hope, we focus on individually customized chemotherapy regimens, including intraperitoneal and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers utilize the latest in technology and innovation to treat cancer, coupled with our enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care.

Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Christopher Chung, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Urogynecology

Gynecologic Oncology

Thanh H. Dellinger, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Gynecologic Oncology
Amy Hakim, M.D., M.S.

Clinical Specialties

  • Gynecologic Oncology
Ernest S. Han, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.O.G.

Clinical Specialties

  • Gynecologic Oncology
Stephen J. Lee, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Gynecologic Oncology
Paul Lin, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Gynecologic Oncology
Wei-Chien Michael Lin, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Gynecologic Oncology
Mark Wakabayashi, M.D., M.P.H.

Clinical Specialties

  • Gynecologic Oncology
Maria C.B. de Leon, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Gynecologic Oncology

Medical Oncology

Mihaela C. Cristea, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Medical Oncology
Lucille A Leong, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Medical Oncology
  • Hematology

Radiation Oncology

Yi-Jen Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Radiation Oncology

City of Hope is a recognized leader in endometrial cancer research. We offer access to numerous clinical trials and new therapies that are not readily available elsewhere. Our latest research includes developing more precise surgical and radiation techniques for better tumor removal, identifying drugs that can better fight the cancer throughout the body and boosting quality of life for our patients and survivors.

Living with endometrial/uterine cancer

When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your family take each step during and after your endometrial cancer treatment. 

We can help with all of these concerns, and more:

  • Managing chemotherapy and other treatment side effects
  • Pain management
  • Navigating the health care system
  • Your emotional, social and spiritual health
  • Fertility and sexuality concerns
  • Handling and coping with stress
  • Staying healthy and active
  • Healthy cooking and eating
  • Healing arts
  • Caregiver skills
  • Restoring normalcy in your family, job or school routine

Learn more about these resources at our Living with Cancer or Supportive Care Medicine sites.

Support the endometrial cancer program

We deliver exquisite care at the leading edge of cancer treatment. It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts over 100 years ago. Their efforts - and those of our supporters today - have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables City of Hope to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies - helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact:

Erika Bernal
Senior Director, Philanthropy
Phone: 626-218-6424
Email: [email protected]

Or, you can Donate Now to make a gift to support all the research at City of Hope.

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