Endometrial cancer is a cancer in the layer of your uterus that sheds off during your period. It is most commonly associated with elevated estrogen levels and new research reports that this includes being obese. A study in the July issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who had a body mass index(BMI) of 35 or higher AND stopped cycling by the time they were 45 years old had a 22 times greater risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Yes, that’s right. 22 times!
The BMI chart compares weight to height and anything over the number 30 is considered obese. By comparison, normal is somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9.
The reason behind this is your fat tissue. Estrogen not only comes from the ovary but it also comes from your fat tissue. There is a process called aromatization where your testosterone converts into estrogen in your fat cells. Therefore if you have more fat tissue, you will have higher levels of estrogen putting you at much greater risk for endometrial cancer; 22 times higher to be exact.
Symptoms to watch out for are bleeding, spotting, discharge (thin, white, clear) once you are post-menopausal. If you are still cycling and have really heavy periods, multiple periods in a month, or periods that last longer than 7 days not due to a hormonal or blood clotting abnormality, then be sure to have your healthcare provider work you up.