May 26, 2023

Endometrial Cancer

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Risk factors for Endometrial Cancer

The endometrium is a tissue that covers the entire inner wall of the uterus. Its main function is to thicken during the menstrual cycle to allow an embryo to implant resulting in a potential pregnancy. During 2018, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that 92% of uterine cancers occur in the endometrium.

In recent years, endometrial cancer – which is considered a type of uterine cancer – has been increasing, even in younger women, considering that the average age of diagnosis is 60 years. Therefore, Cleveland Clinic Florida shares some risk factors for the disease.

Excess body mass – Up to 40% of cases of endometrial carcinoma are attributable to excess body mass and obesity. Even if a person has suffered this disease in adolescence, it could increase the appearance of this neoplasm in adulthood. Endometrial cancer is twice as common in overweight women, and three times more common in obese women, and mainly attacks postmenopausal women.

Diabetes – In women with diabetes, endometrial cancer can be up to four times more common. Although this disease is more frequent in overweight people, those who are not overweight also have a high risk of suffering from this type of cancer.

Family background – Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has had endometrial cancer increases the risk of suffering from this disease. Risk also increases for women who have already had a case of breast or ovarian cancer. Additionally, gynecological diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome also increase the possibility of developing endometrial cancer, since it produces higher estrogen levels and lower progesterone levels than usual.

Nulliparity – Women who have never been pregnant are more likely to develop endometrial cancer because they are exposed to estrogen for a longer time. In pregnancy, hormone balance leans toward increased progesterone production. The woman who has never been pregnant has a high probability of suffering from this disease, especially if she is also infertile.

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