Uterine cancer cases increase among older women in Europe, report says

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Cases of uterine cancer among older women are rising in Europe, researchers say.

Uterine or womb cancer cases have risen by 30% among women aged 60 to 79 in less than a decade, according to a report. Several reasons account for this increase: higher body weight, early puberty, late menopause and estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy. The breast cancer drug tamoxifen also raises the odds of developing uterine cancer.

Detecting cancer of the uterus early when it is most treatable has lifted five-year survival rates to 77% in Britain. Hysterectomy, or removal of the womb, is the standard treatment. Chemotherapy also may be part of the treatment depending on the stage of the illness.

"There are good improvements in survival but there is quite a sharp increase in incidence in the age group most affected by the cancer," said Lucy Boyd, an epidemiologist at the charity Cancer Research UK in London and the author of the report.