What is endometrial cancer?

Reading time: 1 min

Endometrial cancer begins when the cells that line the inside of the uterus begin to grow out of control. In developed countries, it is the most frequent gynaecological cancer. In Spain, it is the fourth most common cancer in women (behind breast, lung and colon and rectal cancer). It has an incidence per 100,000 women of 13-14 cases per year with a mortality of 3-4 cases.  

In 2018, 6,784 new cases were diagnosed. The average age of diagnosis is 63 years. Although most patients are diagnosed after 55 years of age, up to 25% of cases are identified before that age and 5-6% between 35 and 44 years of age.  

This type of tumour has a very good prognosis. The majority of patients, more than 85%, will be cured. The lifestyle they then lead will have a major influence on whether the disease returns or not, and whether they have a full and healthy life.

The endometrium is sensitive to hormones and in women of childbearing age it sheds cyclically during menstruation. The hormones oestrogen and progesterone are necessary to maintain the endometrial lining in normal conditions. Factors that lead to excess oestrogen, such as obesity and lack of ovulation (anovulation), can cause excess growth in the endometrium (hyperplasia) and, in some cases, endometrial cancer.   

75-80% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage and it has a 5-year survival rate of 90%. Unfortunately, the 5-year survival rate is lower when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, which may be tissues near the endometrium or organs further away, such as the brain or lung.  

Substantiated information by:

Ana Carrión Aliaga
Ariel Glickman
Aureli Torné Bladé
Berta Diaz-Feijoo
Lydia Gaba

Published: 9 March 2022
Updated: 9 March 2022

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


Receive the latest updates related to this content.

Thank you for subscribing!

If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox

An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.