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I was initially diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma which was then changed to uterine stromal sarcoma. My first question is: what is the difference between the two? And my second question is: what is the difference between uterine and endometrial cancer? Thanks!
William M. Rich, MD (Febuary 6, 2006):
In general, there are three parts to the uterus. The large muscular wall is made of smooth muscle and is called the myometrium. The inner, functional part of the uterus is called the endometrium. The endometrium is composed of a stroma, which is a background supporting type tissue and the epithelium which is the surface lining of the inside of the uterus.
The terms "cancer of the uterus" or "uterine cancer" usually refer to a cancer of the epithelial lining. About 95% of uterine cancers arise from the lining, the remaining 5% are sarcomas. A leiomyosarcoma is a sarcoma of the smooth muscle wall. An endometrial stromal sarcoma is a sarcoma of the endometrial stroma, as you would guess.
In general, the usual adenocarcinoma of the lining is more successfully treated than any of the sarcomas. You can read more about it at http://www.gyncancer.com and the links at that site.
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