Endometrial Cancer

Clinical Description 

Endometrial cancer is a cancer that forms in the tissue lining the uterus, usually occurring after menopause. It is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States; in 2010, approximately 43,470 new cases are diagnosed and 7950 deaths occur. Women have a 2.5 percent lifetime risk of developing endometrial cancer.

Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer

  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge

Risk Factors of Endometrial Cancer 

  • Age-Endometrial Cancer occurs mostly in post-menopausal women.
  • Race-White women are more likely than African-American women to get endometrial cancer.
  • Hormone replacement therapy. Women who use estrogen without progesterone have an increased risk of endometrial cancer. 
  • Long-term estrogen exposure. Women who have never been pregnant, begin menstruation at a very young age, or enter menopause late in life have a higher risk.
  • Tamoxifen treatment
  • Obesity

How Endometrial Cancer is Diagnosed

  • Your doctor may use transvaginal ultrasound to look for abnormalities in the lining of the uterus.
  • Your doctor may perform an endometrial biopsy in the office to collect tissue from inside the uterus. A pathologist will check the sample for cancer cells.
  • If enough tissue can't be obtained during a biopsy or if the biopsy is not conclusive, you may undergo a dilation and curettage and/or hysteroscopy. This is done in an operating room under anesthesia.

Treatment Options for Endometrial Cancer at Tufts Medical Center
  • Surgery: The doctor usually removes the uterus (hysterectomy), both fallopian tubes and both ovaries (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy).
  • Radiation Therapy: High-dose X-rays are used to kill the cancer cells. There are two types of radiation – vaginal brachytherapy (internal) and external beam radiation therapy (outside the body).
  • Chemotherapy: Your doctor may use one or a combination of drugs to kill the cancer cells. 
  • Hormonal Therapy: You are more likely to respond to progestin pills if progesterone receptors (hormone receptors) are present in the tumor tissue. 

Programs + Services

Gynecologic Oncology Program

Physicians at the Gynecologic Oncology program at Tufts Medical Center are skilled in minimally invasive approaches such as robotic-assisted surgery to treat ovarian, uterus and cervical cancers.
More information about programs and services

Doctors + Care Team

John O. Schorge, MD

John O. Schorge, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Chief, Division of Gynecologic Oncology; Gynecologic Oncologist
Department(s): Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6058
Fax #: 617-636-3258

Ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery

View Full Profile for John O. Schorge, MD

Young Bae Kim, MD

Young Bae Kim, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Gynecologic Oncologist; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6058
Fax #: 617-636-3258

Ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, other gynecologic cancers, complex gynecologic surgery, robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery

View Full Profile for Young Bae Kim, MD