Some things are very difficult to comprehend when the diagnosis of cancer is made and we try to think of what could have been done differently. Why we were the ones with the diagnosis. Why would obesity and uterine cancer be associated? There are many risk factors for uterine cancer including age over 50, not having children, diabetes, and, as mentioned previously, obesity. However, these are not the only risk factors.
Why would obesity be related to uterine cancer? As we become heavier and deposit more fatty tissue on our bodies, fat cells tend to produce higher levels of estrogen, especially after menopause. These higher levels of estrogen in turn cause endometrial (lining of the uterus) proliferation or growth. Especially in postmenopausal women, this growth leads to a higher risk of uterine cancer. It has been stated that upwards of 1/3 of all cases of uterine cancer may be associated with obesity. It has been recently proposed that obese women may decrease their risk of uterine cancer by 70% with bariatric surgery! This cancer affects over 50,000 women each year and is associated with over 10,000 deaths each year. It is felt that the startling increase in obesity is making this cancer more prevalent.
If obesity can make us more prone to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even uterine cancer, why would we not want to rid ourselves of the one common factor? The fact that weight loss surgery could decrease the risk of uterine cancer by possibly 70% is startling data. Obesity is a medical problem we do not need to live with nor are all the related illnesses. It is an issue that with the proper support, guidance, and knowledge you can overcome.