Menopause bring changes in women and hormonal changes is a part of it. Some women also experience gain in weight as a result of menopause. A study revealed that women with significant increase in weight after menopause are at higher risk of developing endometrial cancer.
What is endometrial cancer?
Endometrial cancer refers to malignancies that arise from the endometrium, or lining, of the uterus. Endometrial cancers are the most common gynecologic cancers in the world. The most common type is endometrioid adenocarcinoma and it occurs within a few decades of menopause It is associated with excessive estrogen exposure, often develops in the setting of endometrial hyperplasia, and presents most often with vaginal bleeding. Endometrial carcinoma is the third most common cause of gynecologic cancer death. A total abdominal hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) with bilateral salpingo oophorectomy is the most common therapeutic approach.
Significant weight gain after menopause may develop endometrial cancer
Victoria L. Stevens, strategic director of laboratory services at the National Home Office of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, undertook a study and concluded that women who gain a significant amount of weight after menopause, are likely to have an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer. He said,”Fat tissue is the major source of circulating estrogen in postmenopausal women and...
estrogen promotes the development of endometrial cancer.”
The researchers analyzed the weight history of more than 38,000 postmenopausal women, 560 of the whom had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. This is a cancer of the uterus, affecting the uterine lining.
After adjusting for body mass index, the study revealed the women who gained 61 pounds or more were two times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women with stable weight.
Stevens suggested , “Weight gain during adulthood should be avoided to minimize risk for endometrial cancer. Women who have gained weight and are overweight or obese should continue to attempt to lose weight.” However the weight loss must be maintained.
Weight gain is risk factor for many other diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in older age. Women should talk to their physician, about the endometrial cancer risk if they gain significant weight post menopause.