Gynecologic CancerOur Gyno Health

Begin Uterine Cancer Prevention Early For Effective Results

Uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. Many cases of uterine cancer are preventable. At we are committed to helping your gynecologic cancer prevention efforts. It’s one reason why a yearly visit is important.

Irregular bleeding, while typically not evidence of cancer, would be the first sign of an actual uterine cancer. Current guidelines help your gyno decide when to perform endometrial ultrasound or endometrial biopsy which are both tests that can help detect abnormalities that could be cancer.

If you have irregular menstrual cycles they should always be evaluated. Thickening of the uterine lining and/or endometrial polyps can be precancerous conditions of the uterus that should be treated. The thickness of the lining on ultrasound can indicate likelihood of a uterine cancer. Polyps if ignored long enough can become cancerous.

Women are more at risk for uterine cancer as they age, and women are never too old to discuss cancer prevention. Most uterine cancers stem from lining overgrowth or endometrial hyperplasia. Endometrial hyperplasia can evolve into a condition of atypia of the cells before it becomes cancerous. Although we feel most women have a very thin lining of the uterus in menopause, it is unusual to find atypia or cancer in linings that are under 1.4 cm in thickness.

Hormonal contraception, including birth control pills and medicated IUDs all prevent uterine cancer. Progesterone, in all it’s forms may be the best prevention of uterine cancer, so you may want to discuss all the progesterone methods including DMPA.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding is known to prevent both uterine, and as a bonus, breast and ovarian cancer risk.

Uterine cancer and cervical cancer are very different diseases with different risk factors and different biology, yet they have one thing in common, smoking is a risk factor for both. Smoking greatly raises the risk of cervical cancer, and will slightly raise the risk of uterine cancer.

Uterine cancer, like many cancers, is more likely in those who are obese. 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. Those who have had excessive medical radiation exposure should have more screening for uterine cancer.

Screening tests alone cannot determine cancer, they can only direct you to other testing which will answer that question, and we really don’t do screening tests on every woman. 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 as well.

Family history of uterine cancer is an important history factor you should share with your gynecologist as there may be tests, genetic screening, or exams she will want you to complete more regularly.

For an appointment call 217-356-3736, we accept new clients, and do not charge facility fees for office visits.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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