Endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus) is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system. More cases of endometrial cancer occur each year in the U.S. (approximately 49,600) than ovarian cancer and cervical cancer combined. Most cases of endometrial cancer are diagnosed in women over age 60.
According to a new study, 59% of new endometrial cancer could be prevented by the adoption of three lifestyle choices. The Endometrial Cancer 2013 Report, published on September 12 by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF), provides detailed information on reduction of this cancer. It notes that women can reduce their risk for endometrial cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and drinking coffee. The three lifestyle choices may also lower the risk of other cancers. For example, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health notes that colorectal cancer, breast cancer in menopausal women, and endometrial cancer account for 65% of all cancers linked to being fat ad that some studies have found that obesity was responsible for up to 20% of cancers.
The new report found strong evidence that carrying excess body fat is a cause of endometrial cancer, and that regular physical activity protects against it. The researchers estimate that 59% of the cases of endometrial cancer (about 29,500 annually) could be prevented if women engaged in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day and maintained a healthy body weight, with a body mass index (BMI) from 18.5 to 25.0 kg/m². In addition, the researchers found that that drinking coffee, both decaffeinated and caffeinated, can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. Additionally, the report found that a high-glycemic-load diet (a diet high in sugary foods, sugary drinks and processed foods high in carbohydrates) increases risk.
Based on the new findings, AICR now estimates that most cases of endometrial cancer (59 percent, or about 29,500 every year) could be prevented in the U.S. if women were active for at least 30 minutes a day and maintained a healthy body weight (between 18.5 and 25 BMI).
Scientific studies have determined several reasons why body weight, physical activity and other lifestyle factors affect the risk of cancer. Fat cells release hormones that can promote the development of some cancers. Regular activity can help regulate hormone levels, strengthen the immune system and help maintain a healthy digestive system. In laboratory studies some coffee components, including chlorogenic acid, have displayed strong antioxidant properties that may prevent DNA damage, improve insulin sensitivity and inhibit glucose absorption in the intestine, all of which could reduce risk. The researchers note that previous judgments of the AICR/WCRF panel, did not find that coffee consumption had no effect on risk for cancers of the pancreas and kidney. Thus, there is currently no consistent evidence that coffee has an effect on the risk of developing other cancers.
The complete report is available at this link.