An international research report has concluded that diet, exercise, body fat and coffee all play a role in avoiding endometrial cancer.
If all women in the US were at their ideal weight, with a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 25, and moved their bodies 30 minutes a day every day of the week, roughly 60 percent of all cases of endometrial cancers would never occur.
Additionally, avoiding sugary foods, drinks and high-carb processed foods (all of which help prevent weight gain) and drinking coffee can also whittle down a woman’s endometrial cancer risks.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and World Cancer Research Fund International issued the report based on an analysis of the latest research from throughout the world, including 159 endometrial cancer studies.
The 32-page Endometrial Cancer 2013 Report was part of the agencies’ Continuous Update Project (CUP), which analyzes and reports on the latest research relating to various cancer types.
The findings in the report have clear takeaway messages for women, along with a series of actions that can minimize the risk of endometrial cancer — the most common gynecological cancer that strikes nearly 50,000 American women every year.
There is no screening for this cancer, which is diagnosed most frequently in women over the age of 60.
The AICR update reported the following:
Obesity, or having a BMI (a measure of body fat) of greater than 25, is a cause of endometrial cancer. Overall, the CUP analysis found a 42 percent increased risk of endometrial cancer per every 5 BMI units over normal.
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of the disease.
A sedentary lifestyle, marked by total sitting time, increases the risk for endometrial cancer.
Drinking coffee — caffeinated or decaffeinated — reduces endometrial cancer risk.
Researchers found an overall 7 percent decreased risk per one cup of caffeinated coffee per day and an 8 percent decreased risk per one cup of daily decaf consumed.
Diets high in sugar and processed carbohydrates increase risks — specifically an 18 percent increased risk per 100 grams of carbs consumed per day.
AICR Nutrition Communications Manager Alice Bender, MS, RD, said in a prepared statement, “We know many American women can reduce their risk of endometrial cancer, as well as other cancers, heart disease and diabetes; this is a great reason to take a look at your diet and physical activity, and take steps to move more and eat smarter.”