Cancers that occur in each part of the uterus have their own names, such as cervical cancer
or endometrial cancer
but are sometimes broadly defined as uterine cancer because the structure is part of the uterus. Cancer of the uterus spreads through the bloodstream or lymphatic system and is the most common cancer of the female reproductive tract.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), about 42,160 cases of cancer of the uterine corpus (body of the uterus) were expected to be diagnosed in the US during 2009. North Shore-LIJ gynecologic oncologists are leading the field in the early detection of uterine cancer, providing better outcomes to our patients.
What Is Uterine Cancer?
The uterus, also called the womb, is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman's lower abdomen, between the bladder and the rectum. It is made up of the following parts:
- Cervix, the narrow, lower portion of the uterus
- Corpus, the broader, upper part of the uterus
- Myometrium, the muscular outer layer of the corpus; this is the muscle that expands during pregnancy to hold the growing fetus
- Endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus
Cancer of the uterus usually does not occur before menopause. It occurs mostly around the time menopause begins. The reappearance of bleeding should not be considered simply part of menopause. It should always be checked by a physician.