Learn About Endometrial Cancer


HOW PREVENTABLE IS ENDOMETRIAL CANCER?

AICR estimates that making small, healthy everyday changes could prevent 3 out of every 5 cases of endometrial cancer that occur in the U.S. each year.

This means that if American women moved more and stayed at a healthy weight, roughly 35,400 cases every year would never have to happen.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

WHAT ARE ENDOMETRIAL CANCER'S MAJOR RISK FACTORS?

Weight: As you gain body fat, your risk increases.

Inactivity: Regular physical activity protects against endometrial cancer, but a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk.

Age: Most cases are diagnosed in women over 60.

High-Glycemic-Load Diets: If your diet revolves around foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks, you’re at a higher risk for endometrial cancer.

How Common Is Endometrial Cancer?

It is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system. Approximately 60,050 cases of endometrial cancer occur in the US each year, which is more than ovarian cancer and cervical cancer combined.

Infographic

FOCUS ON THE RISK FACTORS YOU CONTROL

To lower your risk of endometrial cancer, make small, everyday changes that will help you be more active and get to, and stay at, a healthy weight.

Download the prevention factsheet.

Find your "healthy weight" using the AICR Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator.

MOVE MORE

Aim to get your body up and moving for at least 30 minutes every day. Try anything that:

  • Makes your heart beat faster
  • Makes you breathe more deeply
  • You already enjoy doing

EAT WELL

  • AICR's Foods That Fight CancerTM

    AICR’s new web resource keeps you up-to-date about the latest research on foods that belong at the center of your New American Plate.

Get More:
  • Vegetables – Choose non-starchy ones like tomatoes, leafy green, peppers and carrots.
  • Whole grains – Whole-wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal are just a few great choices.
  • Beans – Add pinto, kidney, black, garbanzo and more to soups, salads and stews.
  • Fruit – Eat a variety of fruits, whether fresh or frozen. Limit juices to 1 cup or less per day.

Choose foods with little or no added fat, sugar and salt, whether they’re fresh, canned or frozen.

Get Less:
  • Foods high in glycemic load, which can lead to high blood sugar, including:
    • Sugary drinks – Regular sodas, lemonade and sweet tea also add calories without filling you up.
    • Processed foods – Refined grains like white bread and white rice are stripped of their fiber and nutrients.
  • Red meat like beef pork and lamb, and processed meats like hot dogs, cold cuts, bacon and sausage – Too much increases risk for colorectal cancer and are often high in calories.
  • Salt – Too much raises risk for stomach cancer.
A good rule of thumb:

Always fill at least 2/3 of your plate with plant foods, and let animal foods (meat and dairy) take up the rest.

AVOID TOBACCO IN ANY FORM

What The Research Shows

FOOD, NUTRITION, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, AND CANCER OF THE ENDOMETRIUM

STRENGTH OF CURRENT EVIDENCE DECREASES RISK INCREASES RISK
CONVINCING Effect on Risk:   Body fatness
PROBABLE Effect on Risk:

Coffee

Physical activity

Glycemic load
Source: AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Project Report: Endometrial Cancer, September 2013
  • Excess Body Fat RAISES Endometrial Cancer Risk
    • Being overweight and obese increases blood levels of insulin and related hormones that can encourage the growth of cancer.
    • Excess fat also creates a pro-inflammatory environment in the body that can contribute to the growth of cancer.
  • Diets With a High Glycemic Load RAISE Endometrial Cancer Risk
    • Glycemic load is a measure of how much a food increases your blood sugar.
    • A diet high in glycemic load can lead to high blood sugar, which can increase insulin levels. Over time, high insulin levels make it easier for cancer cells to grow.
  • Physical Activity LOWERS Endometrial Cancer Risk – Both Directly and Indirectly
    • DIRECTLY: Being active helps regulate hormone levels and reduces inflammation.
    • INDIRECTLY: Active people are less likely to be overweight or obese; as noted above, excess body fat raises risk for endometrial cancer – and six other kinds of cancer as well.
  • Coffee LOWERS Endometrial Cancer Risk
    • In laboratory studies some coffee components, including chlorogenic acid, have displayed strong antioxidant properties that may prevent DNA damage, improve insulin sensitivity and inhibit glucose absorption in the intestine, all of which may reduce risk.

About The CUP

The AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Project (CUP) is the world's largest ongoing cancer prevention research project.  It is a living database of the global scientific evidence on diet, physical activity, body weight, and cancer.

For related AICR supported studies visit our research section.

Looking Forward

LOOK FORWARD WITH HOPE

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer you will face many everyday questions. AICR can help.

AICR's CancerResource: A Program for Those Living with Cancer is a free toolkit of information specifically for the newly diagnosed cancer patient. Developed with an Advisory Committee of experts, AICR CancerResource's offers worksheets and guidance on eating and being active both during and after treatment.

You can download the digital toolkit for free. To see inside pages and purchase a hardcopy of the handbook, visit our store.

Visit our section for Cancer Survivors for more resources and information.

Join the fight against cancer

Join the Fight Against Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of female reproductive organs in the US. Your support for AICR's cancer research, survivorship, and education programs will help us get one step closer to preventing endometrial cancer and saving lives.

Your gift will help fund emerging research on endometrial cancer and other cancers and improve the quality of health for endometrial cancer patients and survivors.

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