Read about who gets womb cancer, where it starts and how common it is.
Womb cancer is sometimes called uterine cancer by doctors as uterus is the medical name for the womb. Or they may call it endometrial cancer. The endometrium is the lining of the womb. Endometrial cancer is the most common type of womb cancer.
If you are looking for information about cancer of the neck of the womb (cervix), this is not the right section for you. We have a separate section about cervical cancer.
The womb and reproductive system
The womb is part of a woman’s reproductive system. It is the pear shaped muscular bag that holds and protects a growing baby during pregnancy. The reproductive system is made up of the:
- womb (uterus)
- neck of the womb (the cervix)
- fallopian tubes
Where it starts
About 95 out of every 100 (95%) endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas.
Adeno means that the cells that have become cancerous are the cells of glandular tissue. So for the most common type of womb cancer, the cancer is in the glands of the endometrium. Carcinoma means that the cancer has started in a surface or lining layer of cells (the epithelium).
How common it is
Around 9,300 women are diagnosed with womb cancer in the UK each year. This makes it the 4th most common cancer in women in the UK.
Who gets it
Most women diagnosed with womb cancer have had their menopause. Almost three quarters of cases of womb cancer are in women aged 40 to 74.
Just over 1 in 100 cases (1%) are diagnosed in women under 40.