Can endometrial cancer be prevented?
Although most cases of endometrial cancer cannot be prevented, there are some things that may lower your risk of getting this disease.
One thing you can do is to change risk factors whenever possible. Women who are overweight or obese have up to 3½ times the risk of getting endometrial cancer as compared to women with a healthy weight. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is one way to lower the risk of this cancer.
Regular physical activity (exercise) may also be a way to help lower endometrial cancer risk.
Estrogen to treat the symptoms of menopause comes in many different forms like pills, skin patches, and creams. If you are thinking about using estrogen to ease symptoms of menopause, ask your doctor about how it will affect your risk of endometrial cancer.
Getting treatment of an endometrium problem before it becomes cancer is another way to lower the risk of endometrial cancer. Most endometrial cancers develop over many years. Many are known to follow, and maybe start from, less serious problems of the lining of the uterus, such as increased growth of this lining (hyperplasia). Some cases of hyperplasia will go away without treatment. But sometimes it needs to be treated with hormones or even surgery. Treatment can prevent hyperplasia from becoming cancer.
Women with hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC, Lynch syndrome) have a very high risk of endometrial cancer. A woman with HNPCC may choose to have her uterus removed (a hysterectomy) after she has finished having children to prevent endometrial cancer.
Last Medical Review: 08/01/2012
Last Revised: 01/21/2013