When you or a loved one have endometrial cancer, the outlook is likely to be one of the first things on your mind.

Survival rate statistics can be useful, but they can also worry some people.

Remember that every person and their cancer is unique. Talking with a doctor who can take everything into account is the best way to get a more accurate outlook.

Statistics relating to cancer survival are only estimates. They can help you understand the average number of people who live a certain amount of time after receiving a diagnosis of a particular cancer.

The SEER database from the National Cancer Institute is often used for cancer survival statistics.

It tracks the percentage of people with a type of cancer who have survived for a certain period after diagnosis compared to those without cancer. This is often 5 years.

These are called relative survival rates. But they don’t track exactly how people died. It’s possible their cause of death was unrelated to cancer.

Survival rates are also based on past data. They don’t take into account advances in treatment that may have occurred in the last few years.

Plus, every person has a unique outlook — everything from age to general health affects it.

Cancer is divided into various stages. Higher stages are often more difficult to treat.

Endometrial cancer ranges from stage 1 to 4. Each stage signifies how much cancer is in the body and whether it has spread:

  • Stage 1 endometrial cancer means the cancer is only found inside the uterus.
  • Stage 2 means cancer has spread to the cervix.
  • Stage 3 means cancer has spread to the ovaries, vagina, or lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4 means cancer has spread to other areas, such as the rectum or lungs.

But when it comes to looking at survival rates, different stages may be used. The SEER database groups endometrial cancer into the following:

  • Localized: cancer hasn’t spread outside of the uterus
  • Regional: cancer has spread to nearby areas
  • Distant: cancer has spread to more distant parts of the body

The majority of people are diagnosed with endometrial cancer when it is localized.

Endometrial cancer tends to be seen in people assigned female at birth who are over the age of 45. The average age of diagnosis is 60.

The older a person is when they get their diagnosis, the lower the survival rate generally is.

According to the SEER database, between 2012 and 2018 the 5-year relative survival rates for each age group were:

Age 5-year survival rate
75 and over68%

Generally, the stage of cancer can have a significant impact on the survival rate.

The earlier endometrial cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of surviving 5 years after that diagnosis.

According to the SEER database, 81.3% of people across all endometrial cancer stages survive 5 years after diagnosis.

Cancer is grouped into localized, regional, and distant stages in this database, with localized endometrial cancer remaining inside the uterus and distant cancer spreading to parts of the body that are further away:

Stage5-year survival rate
all stages combined81.3%

When doctors and other healthcare professionals consider a person’s outlook, they’ll consider more than published survival rates.

They will use these rates as a guide, particularly when it comes to the stage of endometrial cancer you or a loved one has. They’ll also look at traits of the cancer cells and their grade to get an idea of the speed of growth and how likely it is the disease may spread.

But remember: Every person responds to treatment differently, which can significantly affect the outlook.

Age and overall health also need to be taken into account as well as the treatment decisions you, a friend, or a family member make.

Things like race can be a factor, too, with research finding lower survival rates for African American people assigned female at birth than white people assigned female at birth.

This is likely because African American people are more likely to receive their diagnosis when the cancer is already at an advanced stage with higher grade tumors.

Early diagnosis and treatment are key to a more favorable outlook. Overall, endometrial cancer tends to be detected early on.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be difficult to deal with. So can finding out that a friend or relative has cancer.

You can find more information about endometrial cancer, including treatment steps and stages, on the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute websites.

The American Cancer Society also offers a 24/7 cancer helpline and transport and lodging support during treatment.

CancerCare offers access to counselors and support groups too.

Your doctor may be able to direct you to various support services in your local area. Some hospitals offer similar services to the above for their patients and their families.

Lauren Sharkey is a U.K.-based journalist and author specializing in women’s issues. When she isn’t trying to discover a way to banish migraines, she can be found uncovering the answers to your lurking health questions. She has also written a book profiling young female activists across the globe and is currently building a community of such resisters. Catch her on Twitter.