Pain in the legs can be a symptom of uterine cancer. However, more often, you can have uterine cancer without leg pain. Many things may cause leg pain.

older woman with leg pain concerned about uterine cancerShare on Pinterest
Getty Images

The American Cancer Society estimates that 66,200 people will receive a diagnosis of uterine cancer in 2023. For uterine cancer, since there isn’t an easy screening process, diagnosis typically occurs after an individual reports symptoms.

Recognizing uterine cancer symptoms isn’t always easy. They can vary and may include symptoms like leg pain that are common with many other conditions. If you have any concerns or questions about your reproductive health, it’s important to discuss them with your doctor or OB-GYN.

Learn more about uterine cancer.

Is leg pain a symptom of uterine cancer?

Leg pain is a potential symptom of uterine cancer, but not all individuals with uterine cancer will experience leg pain. Additionally, leg pain can occur with many other more common conditions.

Leg pain from uterine cancer can happen if the tumor grows and presses against nerves in the pelvic wall. This growth can cause leg pain and sometimes swelling. Uterine cancer may cause pain or a feeling of pressure in the legs.

A uterine tumor can also cause pressure in your lymphatic system, which works with your immune system and involves the movement of a fluid called lymph. This pressure can cause the lymph to back up (lymphodema) and lead to swelling in your legs.

If you have leg pain and swelling, speak with a healthcare professional since this is an important symptom for many conditions.

What‘s the difference between endometrial cancer and uterine cancer?

You will see information about endometrial cancer and uterine cancer. Endometrial cancer is one form of uterine cancer where cancer cells form in the endometrium or lining of the uterus. 

Uterine cancer refers to any cancer that affects the uterus – there are two types of uterine cancer: endometrial, which affects the lining of the uterus, and uterine sarcoma, which affects muscle tissue of the uterus and other supporting tissue near the uterus. Endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer.

Learning more about uterine and endometrial cancers can help determine if you should be concerned that the leg pain you are experiencing is related to any of these cancers.

What are the symptoms of uterine cancer? 

Symptoms of uterine cancer include:

  • any vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • vaginal bleeding between periods
  • unusually prolonged periods
  • a change in vaginal discharge (for example, foul-smelling, puss-like, blood-tinged)
  • pelvic, lower abdominal, lower back, or leg pain
  • pain during sexual intercourse

When to see a doctor 

Talk with your OB-GYN if you experience any of the above symptoms of uterine cancer. They can recommend appropriate diagnostic testing to determine if you have uterine cancer and rule out other conditions that may be causing these symptoms. 

Was this helpful?

How is uterine cancer diagnosed?

If you report symptoms of uterine cancer, your doctor may request a transvaginal ultrasound or endometrial biopsy to diagnose or rule out uterine cancer. If the results are inconclusive or require more information, your doctor may suggest a hysteroscopy or a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure.

If the doctors find that you have cancer, additional diagnostic testing is typically required to see how advanced it is and if it has spread. Testing may include a CT scan, MRI, or PET scan

What‘s the treatment for uterine cancer? 

Treatment for uterine cancer depends upon the cancer’s stage and location. Treatment may include:

For many individuals with endometrial cancer, treatment will involve a hysterectomy

What are the risk factors for uterine cancer? 

Risk factors for uterine cancer include:

  • being over the age of 50 years
  • having obesity
  • taking estrogen as a hormone replacement without progesterone
  • using medication tamoxifen
  • having a family history of ovarian or uterine cancers
  • having genetic mutations like those associated with Lynch syndrome

What‘s the outlook for people with uterine cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, for endometrial cancer, the most common type of uterine cancer, the 5-year, all-stages combined relative survival rate is 84%. 

It’s important to keep in mind that many factors can influence the outlook for individuals with uterine cancer. Factors that can affect an individual’s uterine cancer outlook include:

  • how advanced the cancer is
  • whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (the specific stage)
  • the specific type of cancer cells involved
  • an individual’s overall health
  • age
  • an individual’s response to treatment

Can you prevent uterine cancer?

There is no way to prevent uterine cancer, but you can reduce your risk of getting it by doing certain things. These include:

  • using birth control pills
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • staying physically active
  • taking progesterone if you are taking estrogen 

Frequently asked questions

How can I help a friend with uterine cancer pain? 

If you have a friend experiencing uterine cancer pain, you can help them with their chores or provide meals so they can rest. Massage or acupuncture gift cards may be useful in relieving pain. You can also provide rides to the doctor or pick up prescriptions for them.

Can a pap smear detect uterine cancer?

A pap smear is not a screening tool for uterine cancer. It can be useful, though, to screen for cervical cancer


Pain in the legs can be a sign of uterine cancer. However, not every individual with uterine cancer will experience leg pain. Leg pain may also be due to other causes. 

It’s important to notify your doctor if you experience more common symptoms of uterine cancer, like bleeding between periods or vaginal bleeding after menopause. They can recommend the appropriate next diagnostic steps.