What is uterine (womb) cancer?
Uterine (womb) cancer is when the cells in the uterus (womb) change and grow in an abnormal way. A group of these cancer cells can form a tumour.
Most women with uterine cancer will have a type called endometrial cancer. This is cancer that starts in the lining of the uterus (endometrium).
Read more about the types of womb cancer.
What is the uterus (womb) and what does it do?
The uterus (womb) is a muscular, pear-shaped organ found in your lower abdomen, between your bladder and back passage (rectum).
It is part of the female reproductive system, together with the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the cervix and the vagina. Uterus is the medical term for the womb.
The lining of your uterus is called the endometrium. Every month this lining thickens, grows and then falls away from the uterus as a monthly period. During pregnancy, your uterus protects the growing baby.
There are also layers of muscle in the uterus, called the myometrium.
The lower part of the uterus is the cervix, which is also known as 'the neck of the womb'.
Although the cervix is part of the uterus, cancer of the cervix is diagnosed and treated differently to uterine cancer.
We use the term ‘woman / women’ in our uterine cancer information but we understand that not everyone who has a uterus identifies as a woman.
Whoever you are, wherever you come from, we are here for you. For confidential advice, information and support, contact our Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700.
Medical content updated from our Understanding Uterine (womb) cancer booklet (2023). Reviewed by Dr Razia Aslam, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, Sarah Mahony, Gynaecological Clinical Nurse Specialist and Linda Wilson, Daffodil Centre Nurse
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