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Endometrial carcinoma: Epidemiology and risk factors

Lee-may Chen, MD
Jonathan S Berek, MD, MMS
Section Editors
Barbara Goff, MD
Don S Dizon, MD, FACP
Deputy Editor
Sandy J Falk, MD, FACOG


Worldwide in 2012, 527,600 women were diagnosed with uterine cancer [1]. The mortality rate was 1.7 to 2.4 per 100,000 women. In the United States, as with other developed countries, uterine cancer was the most common gynecologic malignancy, with over 60,000 new cases and over 10,000 deaths from the disease in each year [2]. Adenocarcinoma of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) is the most common histologic site and type of uterine cancer.

The main risk factor for endometrioid endometrial carcinoma is an excess of endogenous or exogenous estrogen without adequate opposition by a progestin (eg, postmenopausal estrogen therapy without a progestin). Other risk factors include tamoxifen therapy, obesity, and nulliparity (table 1). In addition, women with Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer) are at a markedly increased risk of endometrial cancer.

The epidemiology and risk factors of endometrial carcinoma are reviewed here. An overview of endometrial carcinoma can be found separately. (See "Overview of endometrial carcinoma".)

Related topics are discussed in detail separately, including:

Histopathology and pathogenesis (See "Endometrial carcinoma: Histopathology and pathogenesis".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 07, 2017.
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