Endometrial Cancer | Causes & Risk Factors


Am I at risk for endometrial cancer?

Certain things may put you at greater risk for getting endometrial cancer. One risk factor is age. Endometrial cancer is most common in women who are older than 50 years of age.

You may also be at greater risk if you have had high levels of estrogen in your body. Many things can increase your estrogen level. These include being extremely overweight, having high blood pressure or having diabetes.

Using estrogen replacement therapy without taking progestin may also increase the risk for endometrial cancer. For this reason, women who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) usually take a combination of estrogen and the hormone progestin. While estrogen stimulates growth of the endometrium, progestin seems to protect the lining of the uterus from the estrogen. In fact, using birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progestin during the childbearing years seems to decrease a woman's risk of endometrial cancer.

Other things that may put you at greater risk for endometrial cancer include having your first period before 12 years of age or going through menopause after 50 years of age. Women who have never been pregnant and women who use a medicine called tamoxifen may also be at greater risk.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 01/95