Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Reducing Your Risk of Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer

A risk factor is something that increases your chances of developing cancer. Some risk factors cannot be modified such as your age or genes. Others may be reduced or avoided.

  • Manage abnormal endometrial cells—Endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia (EIN) may appear years before uterine cancer. Treatment may help to prevent them from turning into cancer.
  • Lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight—Higher estrogen levels are associated with increased weight. Talk to your doctor about how to lose weight safely. Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet will help with maintaining weight within a normal range. It will also help reduce the chance of diabetes, which in turn, lowers uterine cancer risk.
  • Exercise regularly—Physical activity is associated with many benefits, including weight control, and reducing blood pressure and the risk of uterine cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. This can be as easy as taking a brisk walk. If you are not used to regular exercise, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
  • Do not smoke. If you do smoke, look for ways to help you stop. There are many tools now available.

Other steps that may reduce the risk include:

  • Breastfeeding—If you have a baby, breastfeeding will also reduce the risk of uterine cancer. This is especially true for women who breastfeed for a longer period of time.
  • Birth control—may lower your risk. However, it should not be used solely to reduce risk of uterine cancer.
REFERENCES:

Can endometrial cancer be prevented? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/endometrial-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html. Updated February 29, 2016. Accessed December 6, 2017.

Endometrial cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113952/Endometrial-cancer. Updated May 24, 2017. Accessed December 6, 2017.

Endometrial cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Endometrial-Cancer. Updated June 2016. Accessed December 6, 2017.

Endometrial cancer prevention. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/uterine/patient/endometrial-prevention-pdq#section/_12. Updated April 7, 2017. Accessed December 6, 2017.

Last reviewed December 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 12/6/2017