Uterus

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What is the uterus?

uterus

The uterus or womb is a major female hormone-responsive secondary sex organ of the reproductive system in humans and most other mammals. In the human, the lower end of the uterus, the cervix, opens into the vagina, while the upper end, the fundus, is connected to the fallopian tubes. It is within the uterus that the fetus develops during gestation.

The human uterus is pear-shaped and about 7.6 cm (3 in.) long, 4.5 cm broad (side to side) and 3.0 cm thick.

What is uterine cancer?

Uterine cancer, also known as womb cancer, is any type of cancer that emerges from the tissue of the uterus. It can refer to several types of cancer, with cervical cancer (arising from the lower portion of the uterus) being the most common type worldwide and the second most common cancer in women in developing countries. Endometrial cancer (or cancer of the inner lining of the uterus) is the second most common type, and fourth most common cancer in women from developed countries. Risk factors depend on specific type, but obesity, older age, and human papillomavirus infection add the greatest risk of developing uterine cancer. It is not known with certainty what the causes for uterine cancer may be, though hormone imbalance is speculated as a risk factor.

Who might experience it?

Uterine cancer resulted in about 58,000 deaths in 2010 up from 45,000 in 1990. Uterine cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women in the UK (around 8,500 women were diagnosed with the disease in 2011), and it is the tenth most common cause of cancer death in women (around 2,000 people died in 2012).

References

Image credit: Openstax Anatomy and Physiology

Adpated from Wikipedia

For more information, please visit the CRUK website

 

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