Uterine cancer, also called endometrial cancer, is women’s fourth most common cancer. Recent data shows that uterine cancer mortality rate is on the rise in the United States. According to new data, the cancer landscape will change by 2040, with uterine cancer replacing colon cancer as the third top cause of cancer.
A cohort study published in JAMA tallied the incidence and mortality rate of 208, 587 women with uterine cancer from 2010-2017. The researchers found that the uterine cancer mortality rate increased by 1.8%. This figure was particularly higher for the non-endometrioid subtypes (2.7%) but stable for the less-aggressive endometrioid cancers.
According to the study, the mortality rate of uterine cancer annually increased by 3.5% among black women, compared with 1.5% in white women, which is more than two times the rate of death from uterine cancer overall and of non-endometrioid subtypes compared with other racial and ethnic groups. This is despite the fact only less than 10% of black women were diagnosed during this period compared to the 71.5% of white women diagnosed with uterine cancer.
The reason for the increase in uterine cancer cases is not well understood. However, Dr. Megan Clark, the study’s lead researcher, found that black women were more likely to have the aggressive, non-endometrioid subtype of uterine cancer. They were also less likely to be diagnosed early and had a worse survival rate irrespective of when they were diagnosed or the subtype of uterine cancer.
According to an expert panel convened by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Black women were less likely than to undergo hysterectomy, less likely to have their lymph nodes removed for sampling or dissection and less likely to receive chemotherapy.”