How Uterine Sarcoma Spreads
Uterine sarcomas behave differently in each woman. Even women who have the same type of cancer in the same stage and who get the same treatment can have different results. Some women are cured. Others have cancer that spreads or comes back. Sometimes the cancer appears to recur or come back, because some of the initial cancer cells were left behind after surgery. These cells were missed at the first surgery because they were too small to be seen.
Because of the chance of spread or recurrence, adjuvant therapy (therapy that is given after other treatment) is often recommended. Adjuvant therapy for uterine sarcoma may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy. Research has not yet shown that adjuvant therapy increases survival.
What a particular cancer looks like and how it spreads away from the original tumor is called its pathophysiology. If uterine sarcoma spreads, it tends to first go to places near the uterus. It can spread to the cervix, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and lymph nodes. In later stages, it can spread to the lungs, bladder, and bowel.
Cancer that spreads to other parts of the body is called metastatic cancer, and the process of spreading is called metastasis. Metastasis is a complicated process. The cancerous cells of the tumor invade normal tissues and blood and lymph vessels and travel through the bloodstream or the lymph system to reach other parts of the body. When the cancer cells reach other organs, they depend on the formation of new blood vessels to survive and grow.