Obesity Behind Rise in Womb Cancer in the North West

13 April 2016, 05:00

Cancer Research UK say that research in the North West shows obesity in women has added to an 33% increase in womb cancer in the last decade.

Around 960 women are diagnosed with womb (uterine) cancer every year in the North West and around 210 die from the disease, that compares to 670 new cases and 180 deaths from the disease a decade ago.

That's according to Cancer Research UK who say that obesity is the most likely culprit for that increase.

Professor Jonathan Ledermann, director of the Cancer Research UK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre, said: "It's worrying that womb cancer cases are going up so sharply. We don't know all the reasons why. But we do know that about a third of cases are linked to being overweight so it's no surprise to see the increases in womb cancer cases echo rising obesity levels." 

Kath Bebbington, aged 56 from Stoneclough, Greater Manchester, was diagnosed with womb cancer at the end of 2013 after going to the doctor because she was bleeding between periods. 

Kath's been telling Heart what it was like to be told, she had cancer: "devastating, you hear that word and just talking about it now it sends a shiver through me because 'cancer' to me at that time meant a death sentence."

She had a hysterectomy in March 2014: "At that time when I was diagnosed I wasn't overly overweight but once I'd had the opp I started to pile it on, with the whole health issue though I started on a health kick."

Kath kick-started her healthy lifestyle after she finished treatment - since then she's lost 3st 3lbs.

"I try and keep as fit as I can, I take the dogs out a lot, eat well.  "When you've been through something like that you do think about life in a different context, you think 'I've got to make it better and go forward".

Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said: "The good news is that thanks to research and improved treatments survival has improved.  In the 1970s, almost six in 10 women diagnosed with womb cancer survived for at least 10 years, now almost eight in 10 women survive. But we need more research to understand the biology of the disease better and to know more about how it is caused so that we can improve the treatment of these women as well as preventing more cases."