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What causes endometrial (uterine) cancer?

Uterine cancer usually begins in the lining of the uterus. An excess of the hormone estrogen is thought to cause cells in the uterine lining to divide at a high rate, which can lead to uterine cancer. This excess of estrogen can result from environmental or genetic factors, so if a close family member has had uterine cancer, you should watch for symptoms and discuss the disease with your doctor.
Most endometrial (uterine) cancers occur because a hormonal imbalance results in an abnormal buildup in the cavity of the uterus. In a normal menstrual cycle, women produce estrogen, which thickens the uterine lining. Ovulation, or the monthly release of an egg, triggers the production of progesterone, which prevents the uterine lining from getting too thick. If someone isn’t ovulating, the lining of the uterus gets blasted with estrogen but without the progesterone to balance it out, the potential for cancerous changes increases. 

This content orignally appeared on doctoroz.com.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.