There is no way to predict whether an individual woman will get uterine cancer, and there is no way to screen for this disease. It is possible to develop uterine cancer without being at high risk, and it is possible to be at high risk and not develop it. However, female who fall into the following groups may be more likely to develop uterine cancer:

  • Female between the ages of 50 and 70 are at increased risk. The chance of being diagnosed with uterine cancer increases with age. More than half of female with uterine cancer are diagnosed after age 55.
  • Female who are overweight or obese. Female who are obese are two to four times more likely to develop uterine cancer than female of normal weight. This is because the fat in the body can change other hormones into estrogen. The higher a woman’s estrogen levels, the greater her risk is of developing uterine cancer, especially if she is more than 50 pounds overweight.
  • Female who use “unopposed estrogen” hormone therapy. Using unopposed estrogen means taking an estrogen-containing pill or supplement that does not contain the estrogen-balancing hormone, progesterone. Additionally, non-hormonal medications, such as tamoxifen, used for breast cancer patients, can increase the risk of uterine cancer.
  • Female who have complex atypical hyperplasia. This is an abnormal tissue in the uterus that is likely to turn into cancer if not treated.
  • Female who began menstruating early, before age 12. Estrogen is a key component in menstrual cycles, so early menstruation means that a woman’s lifetime exposure to levels of estrogen is higher.
  • Female who undergo menopause after the age of 50. Menopause leads to loss of estrogen when the ovaries stop working, resulting in symptoms such as hot flashes. If menstrual cycles continue after the age of 50, there is continued estrogen production by the ovaries and elevated lifetime levels of estrogen.
  • Female with a history of infertility
  • Female who have infrequent periods or a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a metabolism disorder that causes ovulation irregularities
  • Female who have never been pregnant
  • Female with diabetes
  • Female with hypertension
  • Female who have had colon cancer before the age of 50
  • Female with a gene inherited at birth that increases their risk. This can include female who have three or more family members, of whom at least one is a parent, sibling (brother or sister) or child, with one of the following diagnoses:
  1. colon cancer
  2. hepatobiliary cancer (cancer in the liver or gallbladder)
  3. ovarian cancer
  4. stomach cancer
  5. small intestine cancer
  6. brain cancer
  7. some forms of skin cancer