Cancer prevention?

Women delaying motherhood may contribute to increase in womb cancer diagnoses

(FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Rates of womb cancer have risen by a quarter in the last decade, and, according to experts, women delaying or not having children may be a major contributor to the increase. A recent study, released on Wednesday by Cancer Research U.K. shows that cancer diagnoses have increased across the board by 12 percent since the 1990s, with around 352,200 Britons being diagnosed a year. The results are largely attributed to an aging population, but lifestyle reasons such as obesity, smoking, drinking, and not having children are playing a part. Risk of womb cancer is a third higher in childless women, and as many as one in five women in the UK aged 45 are childless, compared to one in nine women in the 1940s. The hormone oestrogen has been implicated in triggering tumor growth, and oestrogen levels drop during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Levels of progesterone, a hormone believed to protect against cancer, also increase during pregnancy.

Campaigners fear that the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) cannot cope with increasing numbers of cancer patients, as figures released last week revealed that a target to treat patients within 62 days had been missed for a year and a half. Survival rates of cancer have however doubled in the past 40 years, thanks to earlier diagnoses, screening programs, and improved treatment.

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.

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