If endometrial (uterine) cancer is diagnosed, your doctor needs to learn the extent (stage) of the disease to help you choose the best treatment. The stage is based on whether the cancer has invaded nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body.
When cancer spreads from its original place to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the primary (original) tumor. For example, if uterine cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are actually uterine cancer cells. The disease is metastatic uterine cancer, not lung cancer. It’s treated as uterine cancer, not as lung cancer. Doctors sometimes call the new tumor a “distant” disease.
To learn whether uterine cancer has spread, your doctor may order one or more tests:
In most cases, surgery is needed to learn the stage of uterine cancer. The surgeon removes the uterus and may take tissue samples from the pelvis and abdomen. After the uterus is removed, it is checked to see how deeply the tumor has grown. Also, the other tissue samples are checked for cancer cells.
If you or a loved one received a diagnosis of uterine cancer or another type of gynecologic cancer, make an appointment with one of our oncologists. They can discuss all of the uterine treatment options available to you based on the extent of the cancer. Our cancer centers are conveniently located throughout the Willamette Valley and central coast, including Albany, Corvallis, Eugene, Florence, Lincoln City, and Newport.