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.