Uterine cancer on the rise, especially for black women

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By Shamard Charles, M.D.

Most types of cancer are decreasing nationwide, but uterine cancer is proving to be a stubborn exception, and it’s taking its greatest toll on African-American women, federal researchers said Thursday.

This rise is due in part to the epidemic of overweight and obesity in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a weekly report.

“There are many risk factors for developing uterine cancer,” said Dr. Joseph Davis, an OB-GYN and medical director of the Cayman Fertility Center in the Caribbean who was not involved in the report. The lining of the uterus is hormonally sensitive, so people with higher-than-normal estrogen are especially at risk, “but there are also social factors that contribute to this increase,” he told NBC News, “like diabetes and obesity that have become more and more common with the introduction of processed foods in our diet.”