Cases of Uterine Cancer on the Rise in the United States, Especially Among Black Women, CDC Says in Report

A report from the Centers for Disease Control states that cases of uterine cancer are increasing, contrary to reports involving other cancers which have seen a decrease in the United States.

The study states that cases of uterine cancer, the fourth most common cancer among women in the U.S., increased at a rate of 0.7 percent per year from 2007 to 2015. Deaths from uterine cancer also increased by 1.1 percent per year from 1999 to 2016. 

Black women were determined to be at the most risk of dying from uterine cancer. Statistically, nine out of 100,000 black women die from uterine cancer as compared to four or five out of 100,000 women in other ethnic groups. 

Black women, along with white women, were more likely to develop uterine cancer, too.

"There’s no doubt that the incidence and mortality of uterine cancer, specifically endometrial cancer, is higher in African-American women. The reason why is not entirely understood," Dr. Michael Birrer, an oncologist and director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham told NBC News. "One reason could be genetics. Another is access to health care. Black patient populations that are poor or from rural communities may not have equal access to care. When the tumors are finally identified, the disease may have already spread."

Birrer is not affiliated with the CDC study.

Endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer, typically impacting women over age 55. The cancer affects the lining of the uterus, or the endometrium when too much estrogen is produced.

The study also connects the presence of uterine cancer to women who are overweight. That is because overweight women produce more estrogen, Birrer said.

The CDC recommends "public health efforts to help women achieve and maintain a healthy weight and obtain sufficient physical activity can reduce the risk for developing cancer of the endometrium."

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