What are the risk factors for uterine cancer?
The most common risk factor for uterine cancer is obesity. Women who have high levels of estrogen (usually from taking hormone replacement therapy) also have a high risk of developing the disease.
Other risk factors may include:
- Being between the ages of 50 and 60.
- Having metabolic syndrome.
- Starting your period before age 12.
- Having a history of infertility.
- Never giving birth.
- Entering menopause after age 52.
- Having high blood pressure.
- Having diabetes.
- Having a family history of uterine cancer.
- Inheriting a genetic syndrome that may increase your risk for cancer, such as Lynch syndrome or mutations in the BRCA gene.
- Having an ovarian disease, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- Having endometrial hyperplasia.
- Taking the drug tamoxifen after menopause.
What can you do to prevent uterine cancer?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent cancer. However, you can reduce your risk for uterine cancer by:
- Not using tobacco. Speak with your doctor if you need help quitting.
- Exercising regularly.
- Eating a healthy diet, which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy. Talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about what you should include in a healthy diet.
- Using oral contraceptives.
- Keeping a healthy weight. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you.
- Seeing your doctor or gynecologist for regular check-ups.
- Asking your doctor about genetic testing and screening recommendations if you have an inherited disease that increases your risk for uterine cancer.
Is uterine cancer screening available?
While there is no standard screening for uterine cancer, you and your doctor can discuss a screening regimen if you have a high risk of developing uterine cancer due to genetic risk factors. At Miami Cancer Institute, our clinical genetics service can help identify patients at a high risk for developing certain gynecologic cancers.