Your Miami Cancer Institute care team at Baptist Health South Florida is made up of world-renowned oncologists who are experts in compassionate, effective cancer care. Our gynecologic cancer specialists have access to a range of cutting-edge technologies as well as weekly, multidisciplinary tumor boards where our gynecologic experts can collaborate on treatment plans. Ultimately, your care team aims to give personalized care that helps address your individual needs and effectively treats your cancer.
Your team consists of skilled cancer physicians that provide advanced whole-patient care. Each individualized care plan includes innovative treatments as well as services to address your entire journey as a patient, including nutritional advice, physical rehabilitation and pain management services.
What is uterine sarcoma?
Uterine sarcoma is a rare disease in which cancerous (malignant) cells form in the muscles or supporting tissues of the uterus.
Uterine sarcoma is different from uterine (endometrial) cancers, which begin in the lining of the uterus known as the endometrium.
The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows during pregnancy.
What are the types of uterine sarcoma?
Uterine sarcomas are usually categorized based on the type of cell they start in. Types of uterine sarcoma include:
- Uterine leiomyosarcoma (LMS). This type starts in the muscle wall of the uterus. They are the most common type of uterine sarcoma.
- Endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS). This type starts in the connective tissue in the lining of the uterus (endometrium).
- Undifferentiated sarcoma. This type of cancer starts in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) or the smooth muscle tissue inside the uterus (myometrium).
What are the risk factors for uterine sarcoma?
If you’ve previously received radiation treatment to the pelvis, you have a higher risk of developing uterine sarcoma. Other risk factors include:
- Being treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer.
- Being African American. Uterine sarcoma is twice as common in African-American women compared to women of other races. Doctors are unsure why this is the case.
- Having a mutation to the RB gene, which also causes a type of eye cancer called retinoblastoma. If your doctor suspects you may have a genetic risk for uterine sarcoma, he or she will work closely with our clinical genetics service, which can perform tests that determine your genetic risk.
What can you do to prevent uterine sarcoma?
Because the risk factors for uterine sarcoma are unavoidable, there is no known way to lower your risk for developing the disease. Although pelvic radiation increases risk, the benefits for how it treats cancer outweighs the risk of developing this rare disease.
Is uterine sarcoma screening available?
There is no standard screening for uterine sarcoma. However, if you have received pelvic radiation for cancer, our doctors will work with you to develop a follow-up care plan where you will receive regular screenings and check-ups. During these follow-up visits, we may conduct tests to check for uterine sarcoma and ask about any concerning symptoms.