The number of women developing cancer of the uterus is the highest it has ever been in three decades, according to statistics compiled by Cancer Research UK.
Every year in the UK, over 7,530 women develop uterine cancer. In 1975, 13 women in every 100,000 were diagnosed with the disease. By 2007, this rate had risen to 19 in every 100,000. The rates for older women aged 60 to 79 have nearly doubled from 40 in 100,000 in 1975 to 75 in 100,000 in 2007.
Medical professionals think that contraception is to blame. They say that women choosing to have fewer children or no children at all could be one of the reasons why more women are affected, in the same way that women who have never given birth or breast fed are at a higher risk of breast cancer. Another reason for the increase could be obesity. The overall weight of the population has increased since the 1970’s with many more women being overweight than in the previous generation.
It is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second fastest rising cancer, taking second place to malignant melanoma skin cancer.
Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Uterine Cancer
• Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy body.
• Get regular exercise – take a walk or swim every day.
• Consider having more than one or two children. Higher rates of cancer are in women who limit their family size.
• Consider using non-hormonal methods of contraception.
Sian Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s Director of Health Information, said “These figures show that we’re still seeing a year on year rise in the number of women diagnosed with womb cancer and more needs to be done to tackle this. Women can reduce their risk of developing the disease by keeping a healthy weight and taking regular exercise.
“All women should be aware of the symptoms of womb cancer which include abnormal vaginal bleeding – especially for post-menopausal women, abdominal pain and pain during sex. Although these symptoms don’t usually mean cancer, as they could be signs of other diseases like fibroids or endometriosis, it’s still vital to get them checked by a doctor.