To speak to a specialist cancer nurse,
freefone the National Cancer Helpline
1800 200 700
Mon—Thurs 9am—7pm Fri 9am—5pm
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer of the womb, we can provide the information you need, from understanding the cancer itself, to choosing the right treatment, to finding support.
Cancer of the womb is also known as cancer of the uterus or uterine cancer.
The womb is part of the female reproductive system together with the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the cervix and the vagina. The womb is also called the uterus. It is a muscular, pear-shaped organ found in your lower abdomen, between your bladder and back passage (rectum).
The lining of your womb is called the endometrium. Every month this lining thickens and grows and then falls away from the womb as a monthly period. There are also layers of muscle in the womb. The lower part of the womb is called the cervix or sometimes 'the neck of the womb'. During pregnancy, your womb protects the growing baby.
When cancer develops in the womb, the cells change and grow in an abnormal way. A group of these cancer cells can form a tumour. Womb cancer is often called cancer of the uterus or uterine cancer. There are different types of womb cancer but the most common type is endometrial cancer. This affects the lining of the womb or endometrium. When cancer cells occur in the muscle layers of the womb, it is called sarcoma of the womb. The most common type is leiomyosarcoma.
Other types include:
There are also some benign conditions of the womb such as endometriosis and fibroids.
In Ireland, about 300 women are diagnosed with womb cancer each year. It most commonly occurs in women after the menopause.
For booklets and factsheets, including information about cancer types, treatments, side-effects, emotional effects, financial information and more. Visit our publications section.
Note: Links to external websites are listed below. The Irish Cancer Society is not responsible for the contents of external websites.
Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse
It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm