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Statistics and outlook for womb cancer

Women discussing womb cancer

This page is about the outlook for women with womb cancer. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Statistics and outlook for womb cancer

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Your doctor may call this your prognosis. The outcome of treatment for cancer of the womb depends on a number of different factors.

Below, we present information about the likely outcome of womb cancer. There are no national statistics available for different stages of cancer or treatments that people may have had. The statistics we present here are pulled together from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of this website. For the more complete picture in your case, you need to speak to your own specialist.

We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wants to read this type of information. Remember that you can skip this page if you don't want to read it, you can always come back to it.

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you exactly what will happen to you. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating womb cancer section.

 

 

About the information on this page

Doctors collect statistical information about different types of cancer and prognosis. Prognosis is the likely outcome of your disease and treatment. In other words, your chances of getting better and how long you are likely to live.

This page has information about the survival rates of different stages of the most common type of womb cancer – endometrial womb cancer (cancer of the lining of the womb). The outlook for other types of womb cancer is very different and is not covered in this section.

We have included this information on outlook because many people have asked us for it. Not everyone who is diagnosed with a cancer wants to read this type of information. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment or not, then perhaps you might like to skip this page for now. You can always come back to it.

Please note: There are no national statistics available for different stages of cancer or treatments that people may have had. The statistics we present here are pulled together from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of this website. We provide statistics because people ask us for them. But they are only intended as a general guide and cannot tell you exactly what may happen in your individual case.

 

Cancer statistics generally

We have information about different types of cancer statistics including incidence, mortality and survival. Unless you are very familiar with medical statistics, it might help to read this before you read the statistics below.

Remember – 5 year survival is a term doctors use. It does not mean you will only live 5 years. It relates to the number of people in research who were still alive 5 years after diagnosis. Doctors follow what happens to people for 5 years after treatment in any research study. This is because there is only a small chance that a cancer will come back more than 5 years after treatment. They do not like to say these people are cured because there is that small chance. So they use the term 5 year survival instead.

 

Overall outlook

Of all the women with womb cancer, about 90 out of every 100 (90%) live for at least 1 year after they are diagnosed. About 79 out of every 100 women (79%) will live for at least 5 years. And about 78 out of every 100 women will live for at least 10 years. Many of these women will have been cured of their cancer.

The outlook for womb cancer depends on

  • The type of womb cancer you have
  • How the cancer cells look under a microscope (the grade)
  • How far the cancer had grown before it was diagnosed (the stage)

When we talk about type of womb cancer here, we mean cancers of the womb lining (endometrium). Cancers of the muscle of the womb are called sarcomas and are covered in the soft tissue sarcoma section. Most cancers of the womb lining are endometrioid type womb cancers and have a good outlook. There are two types of womb cancer that are more difficult to control completely and are more likely to come back. These are serous and clear cell cancers. Fewer than 10 out of every 100 of all womb cancers diagnosed (10%) are these types.

The more like normal womb cells the cancer cells look, the lower the grade of the cancer. Most womb cancers are low grade. They tend to respond very well to treatment and many women are cured. High grade cancers are more likely to come back after treatment than low grade cancers. Only about 10 out of every 100 womb cancers (10%) are high grade.

 

Outlook by stage

As with many other types of cancer, the outcome of womb cancer depends on how advanced it is when it is diagnosed. This means the stage of your womb cancer.

Less than 25 out of every 100 patients (less than 25%) already have stage 4 endometrial cancer when they are diagnosed. In stage 4, the cancer has already spread to another part of the body and so is more difficult to treat.

Stage 1

If you are diagnosed with stage 1 womb cancer then your cancer is completely inside the womb. This means it hasn’t had a chance to spread. Generally with stage I endometrial cancer, the outlook is good. More than 80 out of every 100 women (80%) live for at least 5 years after diagnosis. Most of these women will have been cured.

Stage 2

With stage 2 womb cancers, the cancer has spread to the neck of the womb (cervix). Between 70 and 80 out of every 100 women diagnosed with stage 2 womb cancer (70 to 80%) live for at least 5 years.

Stage 3

Stage 3 womb cancer means that cancer cells have spread to other parts of the pelvis. Between 40 and 50 out of every 100 women with this stage of womb cancer (40 to 50%) live for at least 5 years.

Stage 4

Stage 4 womb cancers have spread outside the pelvis to more distant parts of the body. The outcome depends on how far the cancer has spread. For example, to the bowel and bladder, or perhaps to the lungs, liver or brain. Between 20 and 30 out of every 100 women diagnosed (20 to 30%) with stage 4 womb cancer will live for at least 5 years.

 

How reliable are these statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. The same type of cancer can behave differently in different people. The outcome will depend on the stage, grade and type of your cancer and on your general health.

The statistics available are not detailed enough to tell you about the treatments people may have had and how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and prognosis. Your cancer specialist is in the best position to give you information about your individual outlook.

 

Clinical trials

Research evidence shows that taking part in clinical trials may improve outlook. No one is completely sure why this is. It is probably partly to do with your doctors and nurses monitoring you more closely if you are in a trial. For example, you may have more scans and blood tests. There is more information in the trials and research section. To search our clinical trials database for trials for womb cancer, pick 'womb' from the dropdown menu of cancer types.

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Updated: 30 April 2014