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By Shamard Charles, MD
Most types of cancer reduce nationwide but uterine cancer turns out to be a stubborn exception and it takes its largest fee on African American women, Federal researchers said Thursday.
This increase is due in part to the epidemic of obesity and obesity in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a weekly report.
“There are many risks factors for developing uterine cancer,” said Dr. Joseph Davis, an OBGYN and medical director of the Cayman Fertility Center in the Caribbean, which was not involved in the report. The uterus’s life is hormonally sensitive, so people with higher than normal estrogen are particularly vulnerable “but there are also social factors that contribute to this increase,” he told NBC News, “like diabetes and obesity have become more common with the introduction of processed foods in our diet. “
uterine cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the seventh common cause of cancer death among American women. Over 53,000 new cases were diagnosed in 2015, says CDC.
The researchers found that the rate of new cases of uterine cancer increased 0.7 percent per year from 1999 to 2015 and that the death rate increased 1.1 percent per year from 1999 to 2016, unless increases observed among non-Hispanic white women than in women in other races or ethnic groups. While new cases of uterine cancer were higher among both black and white women than among other racial / ethnic groups, the death rate from the disease was twice as high for black women.
Dr. Michael Birrer, an oncologist and director of the Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, said he was not surprised at the report.
“There is no doubt that uterine cancer, specifically endometrial cancer, is higher in African American women,” he said. “The reason why not fully understood. One reason may be genetics. Another is access to healthcare. Patient populations that are poor or from rural communities may not have equal access to care. Once the tumors are finally identified, the disease may have already spread. “
The most common type of uterine cancer is endometrial cancer, most commonly seen in women over 55 years old. The cancer affects endometrium, the uterus’s life when producing too much estrogen. Women who do not ovulate regularly, such as those with polycystic ovary syndrome or those who have hormone replacement therapy, are at greater risk. Use of contraceptives is widely regarded as protective because pills contain progesterone, which counts the effects of estrogen and inhibits the growth of abnormal endometrial cells.
“Obese women have higher levels of estrogen, which tends to give them higher risk,” says Birrer.
Endometrial cancer is often detected at an early stage because it often produces abnormal vaginal bleeding, which calls for women to see their doctors. If endometrial cancer is detected early, a hysterectomy is often a cure.
Other common symptoms include pelvic pain, bleeding between periods and bleeding after menopause.
“Public health is important, but more research must be done to address all genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the difference in prevalence between African women and other groups,” said Birrer.