Stages of Endometrial Cancer
There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.
- Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
- Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
- Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.
Cancer may spread from where it began to other parts of the body.
The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if endometrial cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are actually endometrial cancer cells. The disease is metastatic endometrial cancer, not lung cancer.
The following stages are used for endometrial cancer:
In stage III, cancer has spread beyond the uterus and cervix, but has not spread beyond the pelvis. Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC, based on how far the cancer has spread within the pelvis.
Stage IIIA: Cancer has spread to the outer layer of the uterus and/or to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and ligaments of the uterus.
Stage IIIB: Cancer has spread to the vagina or to the parametrium (connective tissue and fat around the uterus).
Adapted from the National Cancer Institute’s Physician Data Query (PDQ(r)) Cancer Information Summaries (http://www.cancer.gov/
For more information:
Go to the Endometrial cancer health topic.