Wellness Wednesday: Estrogen Theory of Uterine Cancer Challenged, Inflammation More Likely the Cause

Classically it has been taught that estrogen excess, particularly what has been known as 'unopposed estrogen' (or hormone therapy with estrogen along) is the cause of uterine cancer. The theory that estrogen causes uterine cancer is being challenged. Inflammation, either in the body or in the uterus itself is now thought to be the more likely cause and a simpler strategy for reducing that cause would be to reduce inflammation. Uterine cancer is still the most common pelvic cancer in women. There are 60,000 new cases in the USA this year. The average woman has a lifetime risk of 1/38 of getting uterine cancer, which is considerably less than the 1/8 who get breast cancer, and double the 1/70 risk of ovarian cancer. .  Since risk factors for endometrial cancer, or lining cancer of the uterus (the most common type) include thicker lining of the uterus or uterine polyps, medical conditions listed as possible cause include diabetes, being over weight, and irregular periods, there are many women with potentially treatable conditions that are still at risk for this cancer. Recently we had an alternative theory of uterine cancer proposed. It may be a condition of chronic inflammation that can ultimately damage DNA and incite the cancerous process.  Previously gynos have suggested that the best protection factors against uterine cancer include birth control pills, eating well, normalizing your weight and having had children. And there has also been studies that show if you can spare 20 minutes a day for exercise it will also lower your risk. Now there is an extra way to protect your uterus: use the anti-inflammation treatment of aspirin. Low dose aspirin has been shown that adding this treatment into women with uterine cancer actually improves cancer survival. This in consistent with medical studies that have shown low dose aspirin can reduce your chances of getting colon cancer and in one new study it also has reduced the risk of breast cancer


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