Endometrial Cancer Symptoms

Medical Author: Benjamin C. Wedro, MD, FAAEM, FACEP
Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Endometrial cancer (uterine cancer) is the most common gynecologic cancer that occurs in the United States; and arises from abnormal cells that develop within the inside lining of the uterus. It occurs most often after menopause, but may also be diagnosed before menopause.

The uterus is made up of two major structures, the myometrium (myo=muscle + metrium=womb) and the endometrium, the inside lining of the uterus (endo=inner + metrium=womb) where a fertilized egg implants to form the fetus.

Risk factors for developing endometrial cancer including the following:

  • Endometrial hyperplasia: excess numbers of cells within the endometrium.

  • Age: This cancer is usually found in women older than the age of 50.

  • Excess estrogen: Hormone therapy is one potential cause, as is obesity since estrogen is produced in the fatty tissue of the body.

  • Ethnicity: Caucasian women are at higher risk of endometrial cancer.

  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex): Nolvadex is one of the medications used to treat breast cancer.