Uterus Cancer

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Uterus-Cancer

The uterus is a hollow organ in females located in the pelvis, commonly called the womb. The uterus functions to support fetal development until birth. The uterus is shaped like an upside-down pear; the top is the fundus, the middle is the corpus, and bottom is the cervix; the inner layer of the uterus is the endometrium, and the outer layer is muscle (myometrium).

Uterine cancer is the abnormal (malignant) growth of any cells that comprise uterine tissue. The buildup of cancer cells may form a mass (malignant tumor). Non-cancer cells that form a mass are termed benign tumors.

Although the exact causes of uterine cancers are not known, risk factors include women with endometrial overgrowth (hyperplasia), obesity, women who have never had children, menses beginning before age 12, menopause after age 55, estrogen therapy, taking tamoxifen, radiation to the pelvis, family history of uterine cancer, and Lynch syndrome (most commonly seen as a form of inherited colorectal cancer).

Common signs and symptoms of uterine cancer are

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding (most common symptom),
  • vaginal discharge,
  • pain with urination and/or sex, and
  • pelvic pains.

Uterine cancer is diagnosed usually with a pelvic exam, Pap test, ultrasound, and biopsy. Occasionally, CT or MRI may be done to help confirm the diagnosis.