In contrast to cervical cancer, there is a higher incidence in more affluent society and those with few children. Being overweight increases the chance of endometrial cancer. Women with PCOS are at increased risk of endometrial cancer partly as these women tend to be overweight and also because they may have anovulatory cycles, which are characterised by oestrogen unopposed by progesterone. Endometrial cancer is the ninth commonest cancer in women and the third commonest . The incidence of endometrial cancer tends to peak between the ages of 50 and 65 years.

Tamoxifen, used in the treatment of breast cancer can increase the risk of endometrial cancer; some recommend annual endometrial sampling. The relationship between endometrial cancer and oestrogens is discussed elsewhere (Q 27.14 ;27.15 ;32.43). Modern HRT, which would always include progestogen if the uterus is present, is associated with an overall decreased incidence of endometrial cancer (Q 27.19).

Most uterine cancers are diagnosed in women aged over 50 years with very few women diagnosed under the age of 35. Incidence rises rapidly to a peak of about 65 per 100,000 females among those aged 60-69 years. Uterine cancer incidence rates decline slowly after the age of 70 (Figure 32.20)

Figure 32.20

Women's Health

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