Uterine cancer is the most common gynecological cancer. The risk for this cancer grows as you age.

Uterine cancer is the most common cancer that affects female reproductive organs. It’s sometimes referred to as endometrial cancer or endometrial carcinoma because approximately 90% of cases start in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus.

For up to 10% of people with uterine cancer, the muscle layer or supportive tissues are where cancer begins. When this happens, it’s classified as uterine sarcoma.

The signs and symptoms of uterine cancer can be easily missed. They’re often the same symptoms of noncancerous conditions.

Understanding how common uterine cancer is can help you maintain awareness and seek medical attention sooner rather than later.

Uterine cancer is the most common gynecological cancer in many developed nations, including the United States.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 66,200 new cases of uterine cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2023. Uterine cancer will be responsible for approximately 13,030 deaths.

Uterine cancer is uncommon before menopause, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Approximately 15–25% of people receive a diagnosis before menopause.

If you’re an American female, your lifetime risk of endometrial cancer is approximately 2.8%.

Uterine cancer is a worldwide challenge. A 2019 global burden of disease study found the rate of endometrial cancer around the world is increasing: In 2018, there were an estimated 382,069 new cases globally, and by 2040, the rate is expected to grow by more than 50% worldwide.

Risk factors increase your overall chance of developing a specific condition. They are not a guarantee you will develop an illness or disease.

Ultimately, anyone with a uterus can develop uterine cancer. There’s no way to predict who will be affected, but understanding your risk level can help your doctor develop a screening strategy.

Factors that can increase the chance of developing uterine cancer include:

What age group is most susceptible to uterine cancer?

The majority of people who receive an endometrial cancer diagnosis are around 60 years old. It’s typically seen in postmenopause and is therefore uncommon if you’re younger than age 45 years.

People ages 65–74 years have the highest rates of death from endometrial cancer. Cancer discovered later in life may be aggressive or advanced, and age-related factors can decrease the chances of successful treatment outcomes.

The survival rate for uterine cancer depends on the type of uterine cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the overall 5-year survival rate for endometrial cancer is 84%. This means you are 84% as likely as someone without endometrial cancer to survive 5 years after diagnosis.

Survival rates improve the earlier cancer is discovered. The 5-year survival rate for localized endometrial cancer is 96%. Distant endometrial cancer, or cancer that has spread to far sites in the body, has a 5-year survival rate of 20%, according to the American Cancer Society.

When diagnosed early, endometrial cancer can be cured. Approximately 600,000 endometrial cancer survivors live in the United States.

Uterine sarcoma survival rates vary significantly by type. Leiomyosarcomas, for example, have a 5-year survival rate for localized cancer of 60%, while localized endometrial stromal sarcomas range from 71% to almost 100%, depending on grade.

Currently, there’s no way to prevent uterine cancer. There are no routine screening tests recommended for people without symptoms.

If you notice any signs or symptoms or have a high risk of uterine cancer, a doctor may take a uterine tissue sample and order diagnostic imaging, like ultrasonography, to confirm a diagnosis.

“Uterine cancer” is a collective term that includes cancers originating in the lining of the uterus and those of the muscle and connective tissues.

It’s sometimes called endometrial cancer because many uterine cancers originate in the endometrium.

As the most common gynecological cancer, uterine cancer affects more than 66,000 people in the United States annually, and the rate of occurrence is growing worldwide.

You cannot prevent uterine cancer, and there are no recommended routine screening tests. When diagnosed early, however, uterine cancer has a high survival rate.

Obesity, a family history of gynecological cancer, and type 2 diabetes are a few factors that can increase your risk of developing uterine cancer.