Endometrial Cancer Glossary

Endometrial Cancer Glossary Mobile

Endometrial Cancer Glossary


BiomarkerA specific feature in cells, like protein or DNA, that can help determine disease status, risk of developing cancers, and appropriate treatment options.1,2

BiopsyA procedure removing a piece of tissue from the body so it can be tested in a laboratory.3


Dilatation and curettage (D&C)A procedure to remove samples of tissue from the inner lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated, and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. The tissue samples are checked under a microscope for signs of disease.4


Endometrial biopsyThe removal of tissue from the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) by inserting a thin, flexible tube through the cervix and into the uterus. The tube is used to gently scrape a small amount of tissue from the endometrium and then remove the tissue samples. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells.4

EndometriumThe inner lining of the uterus – a hollow, muscular organ in the female pelvis.4

EstrogenA hormone made by the body. It helps the body develop and maintain female sex characteristics. Estrogen can affect the growth of some cancers, including endometrial cancer.6


FIGO stageInternational Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics classification system for gynecologic cancer tumors.7


Genetic TestingCompleted in a lab and looks for changes in genes/cells/DNA that may be a sign of a disease or condition, like cancer.8


HysteroscopyA procedure to look inside the uterus for abnormal areas. A hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. A hysteroscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.4


Lynch SyndromeA type of inherited cancer syndrome associated with a genetic predisposition to different cancer types.9


Mismatch Repair Deficiency (dMMR)A mutation that can be found in endometrial cancer that indicates a cell may have problems when creating copies of DNA in new cells.10

Microsatellite Instability (MSI)A change that occurs in certain cells, like cancer cells, where the number of repeated pieces of DNA in a short, repeated sequence (called a microsatellite) is different from what it was when the microsatellite was inherited.11


RecurrenceCancer that has come back after a period of time when the cancer was not detected.12


SignSomething that can be observed by a healthcare provider during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. Signs can be things like fever, swelling, high blood pressure, etc.13

SymptomA physical or mental experience that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms are felt by the patient and may be difficult to measure. Some examples of symptoms are headache, fatigue, nausea, and pain.14


UterusThe hollow, pear-shaped organ in the female pelvis where a fetus develops and grows.4