Endometrial Cancer Types & Treatment

If you or someone you love is facing endometrial cancer, you'll want to know more about endometrial cancer types and treatment.

At UVA Health, you'll find gynecologic oncologists with vast experience in treating this common cancer. We'll work with you to design a treatment plan based on your stage of life and your endometrial cancer type.

As Virginia's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, many women come to us for a second opinion. Learn more what this means for you.

Endometrial Cancer Treatment at UVA Health

Our doctors specialize in minimally invasive procedures so you can recover faster. Treatment most often involves removing the uterus (hysterectomy). Some women may be able to avoid surgery. An intrauterine device, or IUD, is typically used to prevent pregnancy. But it releases a hormone that appears to be an effective treatment for endometrial precancer and early-stage endometrial cancer.

Expertise for More Advanced Cancers

When endometrial cancer is more advanced, we may need to do a bigger surgery and remove more organs. We may also use other types of treatment. Your gynecologic oncologist will perform the surgery. But they'll also oversee all phases of your treatment. This may include:  

2 Main Endometrial Cancer Types

enlarged nodular uterus
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Endometrial cancer starts in the uterus lining (endometrium). There are two main endometrial cancer types.

Type 1 is the most common and grows slowly.

It's often found only inside the uterus. We can prevent type 1 endometrial cancer. We do this by treating a precancer condition called endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia (EIN). It occurs when parts of the uterine lining grow too thick and show changes that look like cancer.

Tell your doctor right away about any unusual uterine bleeding (especially after menopause). This could be a sign of precancer.

Type 2 endometrial cancer is less common.

It grows more rapidly. These cancers often have spread outside the uterus by the time they're found. They have different names depending on the cell type:

  • Clear-cell carcinoma
  • Dedifferentiated carcinoma
  • Serous adenocarcinoma 
  • Mucinous adenocarcinoma
  • Undifferentiated carcinoma

Who's at Risk for Endometrial Cancer?

Most often, endometrial cancer occurs in women past their child-bearing years. Main risk factors include:

  • Being overweight 
  • Starting periods at an early age
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having diabetes
  • Having polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Taking estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) for treatment of menopause symptoms
  • Having a diet high in animal fat
  • Taking tamoxifen for breast cancer or taking estrogen alone (without progesterone) 
  • Hereditary cancer syndromes such as Lynch syndrome

Fatty tissue produces estrogen. This hormone fuels endometrial cancer. This is why obesity (50 or more pounds over a healthy weight) is endometrial cancer's biggest risk factor.

We'll Guide You On Your Journey

Your gynecologic oncologist will guide you and your family through treatment for your endometrial cancer type. You can also tap extensive support services at UVA Health.