Types of womb cancer

Most womb cancers develop from cells in the lining of the womb (the endometrium). Because of this they are called endometrial cancers.

Endometrial womb cancer

Most womb cancers start in glandular cells found in the lining of the womb (the endometrium). These are called endometrial cancers. These are the most common type of womb cancer. They are usually diagnosed early and treated successfully. This information is about endometrial cancers.

There are different types of endometrial cancer:

  • endometrioid cancer
  • serous endometrial carcinoma (also called uterine serous carcinoma)
  • carcinosarcoma (these cancers are not sarcomas, despite their name)
  • clear cell carcinoma
  • mucinous carcinoma
  • mixed cell endometrial cancer.

About 3 out of 4 womb cancers (75%) are endometrioid cancers. They are usually grade 1 or grade 2 and are diagnosed at an early stage. The womb is sometimes also called the uterus.

Types of endometrial womb cancer

Type 1 endometrial cancers

These cancers are slow growing and are usually diagnosed at an early stage. They include grade 1 and grade 2 endometrioid cancers and all mucinous cancers.

Type 2 endometrial cancers

These cancers are always high-grade (grade 3) and usually grow more quickly. They include:

  • serous endometrial carcinoma
  • carcinosarcoma
  • clear cell carcinoma
  • grade 3 endometrioid cancers
  • mixed cell endometrial cancers.

Other types of womb cancer

Some cancers start in the supporting tissues of the womb, or in the muscle layer of the womb (the myometrium). These are called soft tissue sarcomas. The most common type of sarcoma of the womb is leiomyosarcoma.

We have more information about soft tissue sarcomas.

About our information

  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Professor Nick Reed, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.

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We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.

We want our information to be as clear as possible. To do this, we try to:

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We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected.

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Date reviewed

Reviewed: 01 August 2021
Next review: 01 August 2024
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum

Our cancer information meets the PIF TICK quality mark.

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