Uterine Cancer FAQs

Mercy oncologists and cancer care teams provide compassionate, patient-centered care for endometrial cancer. Below are some frequently asked questions about uterine cancer, commonly known as endometrial cancer. 

How fast does endometrial cancer spread?

Endometrial cancer can spread in weeks or months, but the speed varies widely. A person with a weaker immune system may find that endometrial cancer spreads more quickly because their body is less capable of fighting the illness. 

Is uterine cancer hereditary?

Having a family history of cancer increases your risk of developing cancer. This is especially true if your family has a pattern of uterine cancer or a specific type of colorectal cancer known as Lynch syndrome. Lynch syndrome is a hereditary type of cancer that can also increase the risk of endometrial cancer.

Does endometriosis cause cancer?

Endometriosis may slightly increase the risk of uterine cancer or ovarian cancers, but it’s not a direct cause.

Can you detect uterine cancer with a normal Pap smear?

Because Pap smears collect a sample from your cervix, they can only detect cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that directly affects the cervix.

Can you get endometrial cancer after hysterectomy?

Yes, in rare cases a woman with endometriosis might develop endometrial cancer after a hysterectomy. With endometriosis, the lining that usually grows inside the uterus also grows outside the uterus – and this is where endometrial cancer forms.

Where does uterine cancer metastasize to?

Uterine cancer may metastasize (spread) to other parts of the reproductive system, including the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries. In further advanced stages of uterine cancer, it may spread to the bladder, rectum, or other more distant organs.

Can you get pregnant with uterine cancer?

It is possible to get pregnant with uterine cancer. It. is also possible to be diagnosed with uterine cancer during or after pregnancy. You can discuss options with your doctor to help you deliver a healthy child while still treating uterine cancer.

Does a thick uterine lining mean cancer?

Not necessarily. Excess layers of the uterine lining can become cancerous, but not always. If you have a concern about your uterine lining, your gynecologist can offer advice.

Does HPV cause uterine cancer?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause a few types of cancer including cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer but HPV doesn’t cause uterine cancer.

Endometrial Cancer Resources