Cancer Home > Cause of Uterine Cancer

To date, what causes uterine cancer is not known. However, researchers have identified certain risk factors for the condition. While a risk factor is not a "cause," it increases a woman's chances of developing the disease. Risk factors for uterine cancer may include being over 50 years of age, having endometrial hyperplasia, being obese, and receiving hormone replacement therapy.

Cause of Uterine Cancer: An Introduction

No one knows the exact uterine cancer cause, a disease in which cancer cells first form in the tissues of the uterus. Doctors can seldom explain why one person will get the disease and another person will not. However, it is clear that uterine cancer is not contagious -- no one can "catch" it from another person.
Most cases of uterine cancer occur in the lining (endometrium) of the uterus. This article uses the term "uterine cancer" to refer to this type of cancer, also known as endometrial cancer. This article does not discuss a rare type of uterine cancer that can occur in the muscles or other tissues that support the uterus (see Uterine Sarcoma for more information on this type).
Research has shown that women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop uterine cancer. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease. While risk factors do not cause uterine cancer, they may act together to increase the risk of developing it.

Know the Risk Factors

Specific uterine cancer risk factors include:
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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