Endometrial cancer is cancer that starts in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus (womb).
Endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer.
The exact cause of endometrial cancer is not known. An increased level of estrogen hormone may play a role. This stimulates the buildup of the lining of the uterus. This can lead to abnormal overgrowth of the endometrium and cancer.
Most cases of endometrial cancer occur between the ages of 60 and 70. A few cases may occur before age 40.
The following factors related to your hormones increase your risk for endometrial cancer:
• Estrogen replacement therapy without the use of progesterone
• History of endometrial polyps
• Infrequent periods
• Never being pregnant
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
• Starting menstruation at an early age (before age 12)
• Starting menopause after age 50
• Tamoxifen, a drug used for breast cancer treatment
Women with the following conditions also seem to be at a higher risk for endometrial cancer:
• Colon or breast cancer
• Gallbladder disease
• High blood pressure