Uterine Cancer Prevention and Screening
Uterine Cancer Screening
Cancer screening exams are important medical tests done when you’re at risk but don’t have symptoms. They help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are highest.
Most women do not need to be screened for uterine cancer. However, you should:
- Pay attention to your body
- Know the symptoms of uterine cancer and report any signs to your doctor
- Lower your risk factors
- Talk to your doctor about pelvic exams and Pap tests
Women with Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome or HNPCC) should have endometrial biopsies every year beginning at age 35.
Uterine Cancer Risk Factors
Anything that increases your chance of getting uterine cancer is a risk factor. These include:
- Obesity: Being overweight raises your risk two to four times. A higher level of fat tissue increases your level of estrogen.
- Eating a diet high in fat
- Age: More than 95% of uterine cancers occur in women 40 and older
- Tamoxifen: This breast cancer drug can cause the uterine lining to grow. If you take Tamoxifen and have changes in your menstrual period or bleeding after menopause, it is important to let your doctor know.
- Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) without progesterone if you have a uterus. Birth control pills may lower your risk
- Personal/family history of uterine, ovarian or colon cancer. This may be a sign of Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer or HNPCC). Learn more about hereditary cancer sydromes.
- Ovarian diseases, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Complex atypical endometrial hyperplasia: This precancerous condition may become uterine cancer if not treated. Simple hyperplasia rarely becomes cancer.
- Never having been pregnant
- Number of menstrual cycles (periods): If you started having periods before 12 years old or went through menopause late, your risk of uterine cancer may be higher
- Breast or ovarian cancer
- Pelvic radiation to treat other kinds of cancer. The main risk factor for uterine sarcoma is a history of high-dose radiation therapy in the pelvic area.
Not everyone with risk factors gets uterine cancer. However, if you have risk factors, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor.
If you have been diagnosed with uterine cancer, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.
Why Choose MD Anderson?
- Latest uterine cancer treatment options, including minimally invasive surgery
- Focus on quality of life, including special support groups
- Teams of experts customize uterine cancer treatment
- Genetic counseling for women at high risk of uterine cancer
- Nationally recognized research program offers clinical trials of new uterine cancer treatments
Uterine Cancer Knowledge Center
Uterine Cancer Prevention
Research shows that many cancers can be prevented. Visit the Prevention section of our website to find out steps you can take to avoid cancer.