Uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States. There are five main gynecologic cancers with a blanket term of uterine cancer: ovarian, cervical, vaginal, vulva, and endometrial. Let’s discover 9 risks for uterine cancer and what you can do to reduce your personal risks.
No Screening Tests For Uterine Cancer
Screening tests normally are tests to detect cancer without any symptoms. Most of us are familiar with a colonoscopy, which screens for colon cancer before a patient has any symptoms. If you thought that a PAP smear screens for uterine cancer, it does not.
If you experience bleeding after menopause or any abnormal bleeding, or if you have pain and pressure in your pelvic area, contact Genessee Valley OB/GYN for an appointment at our office in Rochester and Penfield.
Consequently, it is important to be fully aware of not only the symptoms of uterine cancer, but also the risk factors for developing it. There are some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risks.
9 Risk Factors For Uterine Cancer
- Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for developing uterine cancer. This is due to the hormonal imbalance which comes from body fat.
- In addition to being overweight, consuming a high-fat diet can put you at risk.
- If you have a history of endometrial hyperplasia, which causes the lining of the uterus to become thicker, you have a higher risk.
- When you take estrogen as part of your hormone replacement therapy (HRT), this makes you more at risk. To counteract that, be sure you are getting progesterone too. That lowers the risk.
- If you have never had children, were unable to get pregnant, or had very few children, these can all increase your risk factors.
- Quite simply, if you are over 50 years of age and/or post-menopausal, this increases your risk.
- Having a history of breast cancer and having taken the drug tamoxifen puts you at a higher risk. Tamoxifen stimulates the endometrium just like estrogen.
- A history of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) will increase your risk. This is a hormonal disorder that causes prolonged or infrequent menstrual cycles.
- Being diabetic increases your risk.
You can take back some control by maintaining a healthy weight and consuming a diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and very little fat. Know what is in your hormone replacement therapy mix, so you’re not only taking estrogen.