Endometrial cancer arises from the uterine body and fundus in many cases, but can also originate from the lower region of the uterine body through the upper region of the cervix. Such tumors are referred to as carcinoma of the lower uterine segment (LUS) or isthmus, and account for 3-6.3% of all cases of endometrial cancer. This relatively low incidence has permitted performance of only small-scale studies, but the clinical and pathological characteristics of carcinoma of the LUS in all these reports have differed from those of other endometrial cancers. Generally, endometrial cancer is classified into estrogen-dependent endometrioid adenocarcinoma (designated as type I), and non-endometrioid types that are less associated with estrogen and include poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (type II). In some reports, carcinoma of the LUS has been found to have type II characteristics. Carcinoma of the LUS has also been associated with Lynch syndrome, a hereditary disease with frequent development of colorectal, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. Lynch syndrome is thought to be induced by mismatch repair gene mutation. The frequency of Lynch syndrome in cases of general endometrial cancer is 1-2%. In contrast, the frequency in patients with carcinoma of the LUS is much higher, with up to 29% of cases diagnosable with Lynch syndrome and a high frequency of hMSH2 mutation found in one study. This suggests that further investigation of the clinical and pathological characteristics of carcinoma of the LUS and the association with Lynch syndrome is required through performance of a large-scale survey.
Keywords: Endometrial cancer, lower uterine segment, Lynch syndrome, DNA mismatch repair gene, hMSH2, nulliparity, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, adenocarcinoma, amenorrhea
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