Cancer of the uterus is the most common cancer of the female pelvic reproductive system. It accounts for six percent of all cancers in women in the US, with 30 to 40 thousand new cases diagnosed each year.
As its name indicates, uterine cancer forms in the tissues of the uterus. Two types of uterine cancer are endometrial cancer, which starts in the cells lining the uterus, and uterine sarcoma, which is a rare cancer that begins in muscle or other tissues in the uterus.
From where it begins in the lining of the uterus, uterine cancer can eventually invade the wall of the uterus and may also invade the cervix. Over time, it can grow through the wall of the uterus into the surrounding tissues, the bladder, and the rectum.
In some cases, uterine cancer can also be spread by the lymphatic system to the vagina, fallopian tubes, ovaries, the pelvic and aortic lymph nodes, and to the lymph nodes in the groin and above the collarbone. Untreated uterine cancer can also spread throughout the abdominal cavity and occasionally to the lungs, liver, and brain.