Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Endometrial cancer is becoming more common in the United States and black women appear more likely to get the most aggressive types of tumors and die from the disease, a new study suggests
Researchers analyzed cancer registry data from 2000 to 2011 and found incidence rates for endometrial tumors increased among all racial and ethnic groups. But for white women, the increase was less than one percent overall, compared with 1.8% for Hispanic women and 2.5% for black and Asian women. Survival odds were also bleaker for black women. Researchers compared them to white women similar in age, tumor type and stage of cancer at diagnosis. After five years, the black women were 6% less likely to survive low-grade tumors and 59% less likely to survive more aggressive malignancies. There may be differences in tumor biology that make the disease more aggressive in black women. At least some of the increase in these tumors may be due to rising rates of obesity, the researchers note. Excess fat tissue produces more hormones such as insulin and estrogen, which may help cancer cells grow. Black women were more prone to aggressive tumors, the study found. When researchers looked at some of the more fast-growing and serious types of endometrial cancers, black women were 1.9 times to 2.5 times more likely to get these malignancies than white women. Hispanic and Asian women, in contrast, were less likely than white women to have aggressive subtypes of endometrial cancer.