12 doctors weighed in:

Do we know what causes endometrial cancer?

12 doctors weighed in
4 doctors agree

In brief: Many factors

The risk of endometrial cancer is increased by obesity, diabetes, and persistently high estrogen levels, such as may occur with a condition like polycystic ovaries.
Genetics also plays a role, especially with lynch syndrome which increases colon, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. Use of oral contraceptives or the Mirena (levonorgestrel) iud can decrease the risk of endometrial cancer.

In brief: Many factors

The risk of endometrial cancer is increased by obesity, diabetes, and persistently high estrogen levels, such as may occur with a condition like polycystic ovaries.
Genetics also plays a role, especially with lynch syndrome which increases colon, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. Use of oral contraceptives or the Mirena (levonorgestrel) iud can decrease the risk of endometrial cancer.
Dr. Katherine Sutherland
Dr. Katherine Sutherland
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Marianne DiNapoli
Obstetrics & Gynecology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Estrogen +more

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. Risk factors for developing endometrial cancer all include over-exposure to estrogen.
This can occur with hormone replacement therapy after menopause, starting menstruation at an early age, going through menopause at a late age, never having children, and obesity.

In brief: Estrogen +more

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. Risk factors for developing endometrial cancer all include over-exposure to estrogen.
This can occur with hormone replacement therapy after menopause, starting menstruation at an early age, going through menopause at a late age, never having children, and obesity.
Marianne DiNapoli
Marianne DiNapoli
Answer assisted by Marianne Di Napoli, Medical Student
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Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Obstetrics & Gynecology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Unopposed estrogen

The majority of endometrial cancers occur in post-menopausal women who are overweight.
After menopause the endometrium will continue to grow if stimulated by estrogen (adipose produces estrogen), without ovulation no menstrual period occurs to shed that endometrium. The constantly stimulated endometrium can eventually become a cancer.

In brief: Unopposed estrogen

The majority of endometrial cancers occur in post-menopausal women who are overweight.
After menopause the endometrium will continue to grow if stimulated by estrogen (adipose produces estrogen), without ovulation no menstrual period occurs to shed that endometrium. The constantly stimulated endometrium can eventually become a cancer.
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
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Dr. John Kirk
Obstetrics & Gynecology

In brief: We do not know

While medical experts have not determined the cause of uterine cancer (endometrial cancer), it seems clear that an association with duration of estrogen exposure is the major risk factor. This puts women who are obese, had early puberty and no pregnancies, a history of unopposed estrogen (as in hormone replacement with only estrogen) and post breast cancer tamoxifen use at more risk.

In brief: We do not know

While medical experts have not determined the cause of uterine cancer (endometrial cancer), it seems clear that an association with duration of estrogen exposure is the major risk factor. This puts women who are obese, had early puberty and no pregnancies, a history of unopposed estrogen (as in hormone replacement with only estrogen) and post breast cancer tamoxifen use at more risk.
Dr. John Kirk
Dr. John Kirk
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