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.

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