Uterine Sarcoma 

This rare, aggressive type of uterine cancer forms in the muscular walls or supporting tissues of the uterus. 

Uterine sarcoma forms in the uterus, the hollow, pear-shaped organ in which a baby grows. Specifically, cancerous cells begin to grow and multiply in the tissues of the myometrium, which is the middle, muscular layer of the uterus. Uterine sarcoma is a rare form of uterine cancer.  

The types of uterine sarcoma are determined by the types of cells that become cancerous. Common categories include: 

  • Uterine leiomyosarcoma (LMS) 
  • Endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS)
  • Undifferentiated sarcoma 

Uterine Sarcoma Causes 

What causes uterine sarcoma is not known. However, certain factors can increase a woman’s risk for developing the condition.   

Risk factors for uterine sarcoma include: 

  • Having undergone hormone therapy for breast cancer 
  • Having received radiation therapy in the pelvis area 
  • Being a Black woman  
  • A mutation in the RB gene that causes retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer

Uterine Sarcoma Symptoms  

The symptoms of uterine sarcoma can include: 

  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina between periods or after menopause 
  • A lump or growth in the vagina
  • Pain in the abdomen 
  • Frequent urination  
  • Feeling full at all times

Diagnosing Uterine Sarcoma 

A gynecologist can typically diagnose a patient’s uterine sarcoma with: 

  • A physical exam  
  • A pelvic exam 
  • A detailed look at the patient’s medical history  
  • A pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound 
  • A hysterosonogram  
  • A biopsy or hysteroscopy 
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C) 
  • Lab tests

Treatments for Uterine Sarcoma 

At Tampa General Hospital’s Cancer Institute, our gynecologic oncologists and multidisciplinary team treat uterine sarcoma in a personalized way, taking a patient’s cancer stage, overall health and preferences into account. 

Treatment options may include a combination of: 

  • Radiation therapy 
  • Hormone therapy 
  • Chemotherapy, including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) 
  • Surgery to remove the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries 

In addition, uterine sarcoma patients treated at TGH may be eligible for clinical trials and have access to new treatments.