Uterine cancer cases increasing

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 4:24 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Breast cancer and lung cancer are on the decline here in the U.S. But that’s not the case with Uterine Cancer.

“Unfortunately, it has nearly doubled in the incidence,” says Dr. Peter Lim, a Gynecologic Oncologist. “In 2010 the last time the census came out roughly in the United States, 39,000 new cases. In 2020 the most recent statistics 68,000 new cases.”

Dr. Lim says uterine cancer is the most common cancer he sees in his practice.

The most common form of uterine cancer is responsible for 80% of all uterine cancers. The increase Dr. Lim says is reflected by the obesity epidemic in this country and the cascade effect that can have on a woman’s health. Excess estrogen he says is what helps the cancer form and progress.

The disease typically occurs in perimenopausal or post-menopausal women.

“There is some estrogen production from your body from the adrenal gland,” says Dr. Lim. “And those steroids end up in fat cells and when you have excess fat, it gets converted to a weaker form of estrogen. And we believe that is what the mechanism is that causes uterine cancer.”

Dr. Lim says unusual bleeding is a red flag for women who should talk to their doctor about the warning sign.

He says cells are typically taken from a problem area in the uterus to see if the sample tests positive for cancer.

There is another less common form of uterine cancer that is associated with colon cancer and ovarian cancer. Called Lynch Syndrome, it is hereditary, and patients should be monitored closely who test positive for the syndrome.

It’s important to understand endometrial cancer is not associated with endometriosis except in rare instances.