Endometrial Cancer

Expert Care and Treatment for Gynecologic Cancers

The Gynecologic Oncology Program is a leader in research and care for patients with gynecologic cancers.

Your care team will collaborate to develop a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan that offers the most advanced therapies and an array of supportive resources. 

Gynecologic Oncology Program

What Is Endometrial Cancer?

Endometrial cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the endometrium. The endometrium is the lining of the uterus, an organ in a woman's pelvis where a fetus grows. The uterus consists of three layers: 

  • The endometrium, which is shed during a menstrual cycle 
  • The myometrium which is the muscle layer 
  • The serosa, which is the outside layer or covering of the uterus 

Endometrial cancer is a different type of cancer than cancer that occurs in the muscle layer of the uterus, which is called a sarcoma or "leiomyosarcoma." 

Learn about clinical trials for endometrial cancer.

Anatomy of the female reproductive system. The organs in the female reproductive system include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and vagina. The uterus has a muscular outer layer called the myometrium and an inner lining called the endometrium.

Risk Factors 

Risk factors for endometrial cancer can include: 

  • Taking estrogen alone (without progesterone) 
  • Being overweight/obese 
  • Diabetes mellitus 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Taking tamoxifen for breast cancer or breast cancer prevention 
  • Family history of certain cancers or Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition that increases the risk of developing certain cancers (most commonly colon cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer) 

Signs and Symptoms 

Signs and symptoms for endometrial cancer can include: 

  • Bleeding, spotting, or discharge not related to menstruation (periods) 
    • Bleeding, spotting, or discharge in a post-menopausal woman should prompt medical evaluation 
  • Difficult or painful urination 
  • Pelvic pain 
  • Pain during sexual intercourse 

Diagnostic Tests 

  • Endometrial biopsy 
  • Dilatation and curettage (D&C) 
  • Transvaginal ultrasound 

Learn details about how we diagnose endometrial cancer


Treatment options include: 

  • Surgery 
  • Radiation therapy 
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Hormonal therapy 
  • Immunotherapy 

Learn details about how we treat endometrial cancer.   

Factors Affecting Recovery 

Your prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following: 

  • The stage of your cancer. This is determined by how much the cancer has involved the uterus, how much the cancer has spread specifically into the muscle layer and whether the cancer has spread locally to other organs near the uterus, such as the cervix or more distantly to other places in the body. 
  • How the cancer cells look under a microscope, which is referred to as the "grade" of the cancer 
  • The specific pathology type of the cancer 

Signs and Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer

Ursula Matulonis, MD, chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Dana-Farber, shares common symptoms of endometrial cancer to look out for as well as treatment options. 

Gynecologic Oncology Virtual Symposium Series

The Gynecologic Oncology Virtual Symposium Series is an ongoing series of online educational programs for patients and their loved ones. New sessions will be announced soon. 

View Symposium Recordings

Why Choose Us

If you or a loved one has endometrial cancer, our endometrial cancer team is here to help. The internationally recognized team of experts at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center are dedicated to providing compassionate care and personalized diagnosis, treatment, and support for all of our endometrial cancer patients and their loved ones. 

We provide comprehensive services to patients with these cancers, including:  

  • A team of leading experts in endometrial cancer diagnosis and treatment who are setting treatment guidelines for other physicians around the world 
  • A comprehensive diagnosis from pathologists who are exclusively dedicated to gynecologic cancer and make thousands of diagnoses each year 
  • Numerous clinical trials of emerging and novel treatments for endometrial cancer, some of which have been developed here and may not be available elsewhere 
  • The latest options in surgical treatment, including minimally invasive surgery: Our gynecologic surgical oncologists pioneered minimally invasive options for endometrial cancer treatment and perform 1,500 gynecological procedures each year 
  • Genetic testing and counseling and personalized early detection strategies for women and their families who have a hereditary risk of endometrial, ovarian, and other cancers 
  • New radiation treatments that preserve healthy tissue and significantly reduce side effects 
  • The benefits of groundbreaking research: Our physician-scientists are leading national and international studies of drugs that target the genetic and molecular drivers of endometrial cancers, bringing new and more effective treatments to patients more quickly 
  • Specialized care for people with sexual health or fertility concerns, and access to a wide array of support services and survivorship care
  • Multidisciplinary care delivered by specialists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital