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

Our expert physicians at the Gynecologic Oncology program are skilled in the latest minimally invasive approaches such as robotic-assisted surgery. Contact us to learn about treatment for ovarian cancer, malignancies of the uterus, cervix and more at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston.
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

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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