About womb cancer

About 8,500 women a year in the UK are diagnosed with womb cancer. It is more common in women over 40 and rare in women under 35. Most womb cancers start in the lining of the womb (the endometrium). These cancers are usually diagnosed early and treated successfully. Womb cancer isn’t infectious and you can’t pass it on to anyone else.

Types of womb cancer

About 95% (95 in 100) of womb cancers develop from glandular tissue in the endometrium. These cancers are called endometrial carcinomas or sometimes endometrioid adenocarcinomas. They’re usually diagnosed early and are often cured.

Less common types of womb cancer are:

  • papillary serous carcinoma
  • carcinosarcoma
  • a rare type called clear cell carcinoma.

Unlike endometrial carcinomas, these types of womb cancer aren’t thought to be linked with oestrogen. They also tend to grow more quickly.

Uterine sarcoma is another type of cancer that starts in the muscle of the womb. We have more information about soft tissues sarcomas.

Back to Understanding womb cancer

What is cancer?

Cancer develops when the normal workings of a cell go wrong and the cell becomes abnormal.

The womb

The womb (uterus) is a muscular, pear-shaped organ where a baby is carried during pregnancy.

Symptoms of womb cancer

Find information about the symptoms of womb cancer and when you should go and see your GP.

Cancer and cell types

Cancers are grouped into types. Types of cancer often behave and respond to treatments in different ways.

Why do cancers come back?

Sometimes, tiny cancer cells are left behind after cancer treatment. These can divide to form a new tumour.