What is uterine sarcoma?

Uterine sarcoma is a type of cancer that forms in the muscles or tissues of the uterus, or womb. Uterine sarcoma is different from endometrial cancer, which is cancer of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). Uterine sarcoma is very rare.

Who is at risk for having uterine sarcoma?

Women who have had radiation therapy in the pelvis area, or who have been treated with the drug tamoxifen for breast cancer, have a greater risk of developing uterine sarcoma.

What is cancer staging?

One of the biggest concerns about a cancer diagnosis is whether the cancer has metastasized (spread) beyond its original location. To determine this, the doctor assigns a number (I through IV) to the diagnosis. The higher the number, the more the cancer has spread throughout the body. This is called "staging." The doctor needs this information in order to plan the treatment.

What are the stages of uterine sarcoma?

The stages of uterine sarcoma are:

  • Stage I: the cancer is in the uterus only.
  • Stage II: the cancer has spread to the cervix.
  • Stage III: the cancer has spread beyond the uterus and cervix but is still contained within the pelvis.
  • Stage IV: the cancer has spread to areas outside the pelvis, including the bladder, abdomen, and groin.

What are the signs and symptoms of uterine sarcoma?

The main signs and symptoms of uterine sarcoma are:

  • Unusual bleeding from the vagina that is not related to menstrual periods, or that happens after menopause
  • A mass (lump or growth) in the vagina
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Feeling full at all times
  • Having to urinate often