Endometrial cancer is a cancer that arises from the endometrium (the lining of the uterus or womb). It is the result of the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. The first sign is most often vaginal bleeding not associated with a menstrual period. Other symptoms include pain with urination or sexual intercourse, or pelvic pain. Endometrial cancer occurs most commonly after menopause.
Approximately 40% of cases are related to obesity.
Endometrial cancer is also associated with excessive estrogen exposure, high blood pressure and diabetes. Whereas taking estrogen alone increases the risk of endometrial cancer, taking both estrogen and progesterone in combination, as in most birth control pills, decreases the risk. Between two and five percent of cases are related to genes inherited from the parents. Endometrial cancer is sometimes loosely referred to as "uterine cancer", although it is distinct from other forms of uterine cancer such as cervical cancer, uterine sarcoma, and trophoblastic disease. The most frequent type of endometrial cancer is endometrioid carcinoma, which accounts for more than 80% of cases. Endometrial cancer is commonly diagnosed by endometrial biopsy or by taking samples during a procedure known as dilation and curettage. A pap smear is not typically sufficient to show endometrial cancer. Regular screening in those is at normal risk.