Doctors don't know what causes endometrial cancer. What's known is that something occurs to create a genetic mutation within cells in the endometrium — the lining of the uterus.
The genetic mutation turns normal, healthy cells into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time. Abnormal cells grow and multiply out of control, and they don't die at a set time. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can separate from an initial tumor to spread elsewhere in the body (metastasize).
May 14, 2013
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed April 2, 2013.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP. Accessed April 2, 2013.
- Uterine neoplasms. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed April 2, 2013.
- What you need to know about cancer of the uterus. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/uterus. Accessed April 2, 2013.
- Cramer DW. The epidemiology of endometrial and ovarian cancer. Hematology and Oncology Clinics of North America. 2012;26:1.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/takingtime. Accessed April 5, 2013.
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