Prevention of uterine cancer: here's how
Most uterine cancer is preventable. At www.womenshealthpractice.com we are committed to helping your prevention efforts.
Irregular bleeding is the first sign of uterine cancer, and irregular cycles should always be evaluated. Thickening of the uterine lining and/or endometrial polyps can be precancerous conditions of the uterus that should be treated.
Women are more at risk for uterine cancer as they age.
Hormonal contraception, including birth control pills and medicated IUDs such as Mirena and Liletta, women need to know that hormonal contraception prevents uterine cancer. Progesterone alone may be the best prevention, so you may want to discuss all the progesterone methods including DMPA.
Women need to know that although there may be small increases in risk of breast cancer for some women taking oral contraceptives has over all cancer protection beyond protection against uterine cancer including protection against ovarian cancer.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding is known to prevent both uterine and ovarian cancer risk.
Uterine cancer and cervical cancer are very different diseases with different risk factors and different biology. Smoking greatly raises the risk of cervical cancer, and will slightly raise the risk of uterine cancer.
When struggling with weight control, and too much sugar in your diet, it may help you to eat better if you can focus on the positives of lower fat and lower carb diet which is that you will have protection against uterine cancer and other cancers. Diabetics, those with pre-diabetes, and those who are obese are also at risk, but this may just be due to the dietary factors we have discussed.
Women need to know that overall exposure to radiation which we even get in everyday life in very small amounts, over time, can increase your risk of uterine and other cancers. Before you have tests with the most radiation, such as cat scans, take that risk into consideration verse the benefit of the test.
Screening tests alone cannot determine cancer, they can only direct you to other testing which will answer that question, for uterine cancer pelvic ultrasounds are the best screening tests. Actually some uterine cancers can be detected on pap smear, so it’s important to be current on those.
Family history of uterine cancer is an important history factor you should share with your gynecologist as there may be tests or exams she will want you to complete more regularly.