Cancer of the endometrium or the uterine area is a disease that affects in majority cases the post menopausal elderly women. Like all cancers this disease needs to be detected early and managed as soon as possible. Early detection and timely treatment gives an advantage to the patient and the medical team as the extent of the cancer is restricted which can be controlled through multiple modalities. Various factors constitute as risk factors for cancer of endometrium out of which obesity presents a modifiable risk factor.
Obesity and How it can Cause Uterine Cancer:
Obesity itself is associated with multiple adverse effects for human body. It increases risk for cardiovascular diseases, incidence of diabetes along with increased risk for many cancers including endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer is known to be estrogen dependent cancer as estrogen exerts growth stimulating proliferative effect on endometrium. When endometrium is exposed to unopposed estrogen it causes changes in endometrium in form of hyperplasia and endometrial cancer. Obesity can lead to increased estrogen in body which is due to aromatase expressed by adipocytes which converts ovarian androgens to estrogens. Also due to obesity hormone binding globulin levels are low leading to high levels of biologically active hormones in body. Obese patients also have low insulin binding globulin leading to increased free insulin levels. Insulin exerts proliferative effect on endometrium.
Lifestyle Changes can Prevent Uterine Cancer:
- The most important measure that we can take is lifestyle changes resulting in weight loss.
- Dietary changes, regular physical activity or measures like surgery in resistant obesity can decrease the chances of endometrial cancer.
- Opt for a balanced diet and keep a check on your plate.
- Most importantly consult a doctor if you notice any abnormal signs and symptoms associated with uterine cancer.