Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer
What Increases Your Risk
A risk factor for endometrial cancer is something that increases your chance of getting it. But it doesn't mean that you will definitely get it. And many people who get endometrial cancer don't have any risk factors.
The biggest risk factor for endometrial cancer is having too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. (Your body makes progesterone. Man-made progesterone, as in birth control pills or hormone therapy, is called a Reference progestin Opens New Window.)
Risk from long-term exposure to too much estrogen can be from:
- Being obese. Fat cells make extra estrogen, but the body doesn't make extra progesterone to balance it out.
- Taking estrogen without taking a progestin.
- Taking Reference tamoxifen, a breast cancer treatment that acts like estrogen in the uterus.Reference 3
- Reference Polycystic ovary syndrome Opens New Window.
- Starting your menstrual cycle before age 12 or starting menopause after age 55.
Other things that increase your risk include:
- Being older than 50. Endometrial cancer is most common in women older than 50.
- Having a history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer.
- Having Reference endometrial hyperplasia Opens New Window.
- Having type 2 diabetes.
- Having high blood pressure.
- Having previous radiation therapy to the pelvis.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology