All cancers begin in cells, the body’s basic unit of life. Tumors can be benign or malignant: Benign tumors are not cancer.
Cancer that starts in the muscle layers of the womb is called uterine sarcoma. This type of cancer is most common in women between the ages of 50 and 70. Cancer of the uterus can also be called uterine cancer. Cancers that start in the muscle of the womb (sarcomas) are even less common. Cancer of the uterus usually occurs after menopause.
The spread of cancer means metastasis. When uterine cancer spreads outside the uterus, cancer cells are often found in nearby lymph nodes, nerves, or blood vessels. If the cancer reached the lymph nodes, cancer cells may have spread to other lymph nodes and other organs, such as the liver, lungs and bones.
When cancer spreads from its original place to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the primary tumor.
For example, if cancer of the uterus spreads to the lungs, the cancer cells in the lungs are actually uterine cancer cells. The disease is metastatic uterine cancer and not lung cancer.
As with any cancer, the exact reason why one woman gets uterine and another does not is unknown. These have much in common with breast cancer risks, since both cells in the uterus and breast respond to hormone stimulation.
Symptoms of Uterine Cancer
Vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of uterine cancer, and is very suspicious for cancer in a woman after her menopause. Of woman with new onset vaginal bleeding after menopause, 30% will have cancer, with the chance of it being uterine or cervical about equal. Infection may be the first indication of a cancer problem. If you find out that these symptoms are present, it is best to seek medical attention to avoid more complications that may mean more serious condition leading to uterine cancer.