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Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer
Cancer of the uterus is the most common cancer of the female reproductive tract, with an annual rate of 21 per 100,000 women (Greenlee RT et al 2001). The majority of uterine (endometrial) cancer cases occur around or after menopause between the ages of 60 and 75 years. In the United States, 2 percent to 3 percent of women will develop cancer of the uterus during their lifetimes (McCann SE et al 2000).
The primary symptom of uterine cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. Obesity and a diet high in animal fats and low in fruits and vegetables are associated with the development of uterine cancer (Hu FB 2003; Schapira DV 1992). The relationship between unopposed estrogen exposure and uterine cancer is well established (Berstein L et al 2002; Doherty JA et al 2005; Persson I et al 1989). The incidence of uterine cancer has increased in the past 50 years because of longer female life expectancy and an increase in the use of unopposed estrogen therapy. However, enhanced methods of diagnosis have improved detection rates (Emons G et al 2004).
Fortunately, most uterine cancers are detected at an early stage, leading to successful cure rates. The usual treatment for uterine cancer is a complete hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) (Chen LM et al 1999). Depending on the severity and spread of the cancer, radiation therapy is sometimes recommended (McMeekin DS et al 2003). A healthy diet and lifestyle together with hormonal and dietary supplements may impede the development of uterine cancer and stop its spread in those who already have it (Hill HA, Austin H et al 1996; Pike MC et al 2004).