Uterine cancer includes cancer occurring in the body of the uterus.
These cancer types are:
- endometrial cancer
- endometrial stromal sarcoma
- other types of sarcoma
Endometrial cancer originates from the mucosa of the uterus. Mixed epithelial and mesenchymal tumors (carcinosarcomas) consist of an epithelial and sarcomatous component. In carcinosarcomas, both components are malignant.
Carcinosarcomas are monoclonal and originate from endometrial carcinoma. The sarcoma component has developed separate from the carcinoma, and is often seen in postmenopausal women. This type behaves biologically as aggressive carcinomas with a high frequency of metastasis, especially to lymph nodes.
The most common types of sarcomas are leiomyosarcomas and endometrial stromal sarcomas, but all soft-component sarcomas can occur in the uterus. Sarcomas have a biology completely different from carcinomas. The largest difference is that sarcomas almost never metastasize to lymph nodes, but metastasize via blood. They have a great tendency to implantation in the peritoneum if spilled. This is a critical point during surgery.
Leiomyosarcoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma and adenosarkoma are described in the sarcoma chapter.
Approximately 2.8 % of women will be diagnosed with endometrial cancer at some point during their lifetime and this cancer type represents 3.6% of all new cancer cases in the United States. Endometrial cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 55-64.
In 2017, it is estimated to be 61,380 new cases of endometrial cancer in the United States (24).
Age-specific incidence of uterine cancer, 2010–2014.
Source: National Cancer Institute
Incidence of uterine cancer, 1975–2014.
Source: National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, USA