Causes and prevention of cancer of the womb (uterus)

The exact cause of womb cancer is unknown. But there are certain things called risk factors that can increase your chance of getting the disease. These include:

  • Age: It is more common in women after the menopause between the ages of 50 and 64.

  • Overweight: If you are overweight, your risk of womb cancer is increased.

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): If you are taking oestrogen-only HRT for a long time after the menopause, your risk of womb cancer is slightly increased.

  • Family history: If you have an inherited faulty gene, it raises your risk of developing womb or bowel cancer. In a small number of families, this faulty gene is called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).

  • No pregnancies: If you have not had children or never been pregnant, your risk of womb cancer is increased.

  • Polycystic ovaries: If you have polycystic ovaries, your risk is increased. This is a condition where cysts grow in the ovaries.

If you feel you may be at risk, first talk to your family doctor (GP) about your concerns. He or she may advise you to visit a specialist.

Contact our Cancer Nurseline

Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse

It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm