Womb cancer and the lymphatic system

Sometimes womb cancer may spread through the lymphatic system. This is the system that protects us from infection and disease.

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is part of the body's immune system and helps protect us from infection and disease. It is made up of fine tubes called lymphatic vessels. These vessels connect to groups of small lymph nodes throughout the body. 

The lymphatic system does different things:

  • it acts as a one-way drainage system – this means it moves fluid from body tissues into the blood circulation
  • it contains white blood cells called lymphocytes, which fight infection
  • it gets rid of any waste that cells make.

We have more information on the lymphatic system.

What are lymph nodes?

Lymph nodes are sometimes called lymph glands. They filter bacteria (germs) and disease from the lymph fluid. When you have an infection, lymph nodes often swell as they fight the infection.

Womb cancer and lymph nodes

Sometimes cancer can spread through the lymphatic system. If the cancer cells spread outside the womb, they are most likely to go to lymph nodes in the pelvis (the area between your hips). They may sometimes go to the lymph nodes in the tummy (abdomen).

Lymph nodes in the abdomen and pelvis
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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.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.

The language we use

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:

  • use plain English
  • explain medical words
  • use short sentences
  • use illustrations to explain text
  • structure the information clearly
  • make sure important points are clear.

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.

You can read more about how we produce our information here.

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.

This means it is easy to use, up-to-date and based on the latest evidence. Learn more about how we produce our information.