Over the last 30 years survival rates for womb cancer, patients surviving for five years or longer, has increased 16% to 77%. However, the number of affected women aged 60-79 has gone up by 30% during the last ten years.

You can get details of this report from Cancer Research UK (resource no longer available at www.cancerresearchuk.org)

Experts say more awareness is needed about cancer of the womb, its symptoms and risk factors.

About six thousand women each year in the UK develop cancer of the womb – 4% of all female cancers. It is the second most common cancer of the female reproductive system (ovarian cancer is number one). Cancer of the womb is the fourth most common cancer in women.

1,500 women die each year from cancer of the womb. About 75% of women are treated successfully. Early detection is important in improving the survival rate. If a woman is diagnosed when the disease has already advanced her chances of survival are just 25%.

Most cancers of the womb affect women over 50 (90%), three quarters of cancers of the womb affect post-menopausal women.

In 1993, 48 women aged 60-79 per 100,000 had cancer of the womb, in 2001 the number rose to 63. Too many women are unaware of the risks and symptoms of cancer of the womb. Many do not know than post-menopausal vaginal bleeding could be a symptom.

For women in early stage womb cancer a hysterectomy is all they need. For patients in more advanced stages they will also need radiotherapy.

Overweight and obese women run twice the risk of developing womb cancer compared to women of normal weight. Fatter women produce more oestrogen. Women who have never had children also have a higher risk, as do women who have taken tamoxifen (depends on how long).

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today