Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive tract. Uterine cancer is sometimes called endometrial cancer because tumors often form in the inside lining of the uterus, a mucous membrane called the endometrium.

About one-third of ovarian cancer cases are believed to begin as uterine cancer.

The team at UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center has extensive experience with all types of uterine cancer. Our gynecologic oncologists treat some of the most complex cases, offering minimally invasive surgery, fertility-sparing treatment, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.

Types of Uterine Cancer

There are two major types of uterine cancer. Adenocarcinomas, commonly called endometrial adenocarcinomas, make up more than 80 percent of uterine cancers.

Uterine sarcoma, the other main type, originates in the connective tissue or muscle of the uterus, called the myometrium.

Gestational trophoblastic disease is a rare condition in which tumors grow inside a woman’s uterus when she is pregnant.

Diagnosis

To diagnose uterine cancer, your doctor perform a physical exam, order blood work, take a tissue sample, or call for additional testing if you have symptoms or if the disease is suspected for other reasons.

At UT Southwestern, we use a wide range of oncology imaging techniques to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients with uterine cancer. These include

  • Transvaginal ultrasound or sonography
  • Staging and operating endoscopy
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

Treatments

Treatment for uterine cancer depends on its characteristics and stage, your overall health, and your preferences and goals. Options include:

Surgery

Surgery is typically the first line of treatment for uterine cancer. When uterine cancer is detected early, removing the uterus may remove all the cancer. If the cancer is more advanced, your surgeon may also remove your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and pelvic lymph nodes. Using the latest advancements in surgical technologies and tools, UT Southwestern offers a growing number of minimally invasive and laparoscopic techniques for surgically treating uterine cancer in appropriate patients.

Learn more about surgery for gynecologic cancer.

Radiation Therapy

This variety of pinpointed treatments includes external-beam radiation and internal radiation therapy, or brachytherapy. Learn more about radiation therapy for gynecologic cancer.

Chemotherapy

Our treatments include the most advanced combinations of cancer-killing drugs

Research at UT Southwestern has found that a mutation in a single gene can cause the type of uterine cancer that’s known as endometrial cancer, making it responsive to a specific drug therapy. Eventually it may be possible to screen women with endometrial cancer to see if their cancer will respond to chemotherapy. More testing is underway.

Learn more about medical treatments for gynecologic cancer.

Hormone Therapy

This treatment, which often but not always involves progesterone, can slow the growth of uterine cancer cells that have receptors to the hormone on them. Hormone therapy may also be used in combination with other types of treatment or, for women who cannot have surgery or radiation therapy, in lieu of other treatments.

Women with uterine cancer may have concerns about if and how treatment may affect their sexual function and fertility. Our experts will discuss all options with you before treatment begins, and you should not be afraid to ask questions.

Clinical Trials

Many patients qualify to participate in the gynecologic cancer-related clinical trials conducted at UT Southwestern to gain access to new treatments and to further research of the disease.

Learn about uterine cancer clinical trials offered at UT Southwestern.

Meet Our Experts

Our team of uterine cancer experts includes:

Learn more about all members of our gynecologic cancer team.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with an uterine cancer specialist, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.