Endometrial Cancer | Diagnosis & Tests


How is endometrial cancer diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose endometrial cancer by performing one or more of the following procedures:

  • Endometrial biopsy is usually done in your doctor’s office. It involves inserting a narrow tube into the uterus through the vagina and removing a small amount of tissue from the uterine wall. This tissue is tested in a lab for cancerous or precancerous cells. The procedure usually takes just a few minutes.
  • Dilatation and curettage (D & C) involves dilating (widening) the cervix (the opening of the uterus) and inserting an instrument to scrape or suction the uterine wall and collect tissue. D & C is also an outpatient procedure. It takes about an hour and usually requires general anesthesia (puts you in a sleep-like state).
  • Imaging tests are used in patients who have certain medical conditions such as severe high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or other types of cancer. These patients may not be able to safely have anesthesia. In these patients, imaging tests such as an MRI scan, CT scan, or ultrasound may help diagnose cancer of the uterus.

Your doctor will talk to you about which procedure is right for you.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 01/95