Endometrial cancer in young, normal-weight women

Kathleen M. Schmeler, Pamela T. Soliman, Charlotte C. Sun, Brian M. Slomovitz, David M. Gershenson, Karen H. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine if young, normal-weight women with endometrial cancer have unique risk factors and clinical characteristics when compared with young, overweight and obese women with endometrial cancer. Methods. Between 1989 and 2003, 1531 patients were treated for endometrial cancer. 188 (12%) of these women were premenopausal and under the age of 50 at time of diagnosis. The patients were divided into three groups based on body mass index (BMI): normal weight (BMI < 25 kg/m2), overweight (BMI 25-30 kg/m2) and obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). Clinical and pathologic characteristics were compared. Results. Of the 188 young endometrial cancer patients, 47 (25%) were of normal weight, 31 (17%) overweight and 106 (56%) obese. 4% of normal-weight, 12% of overweight and 0% of obese patients met criteria for Lynch syndrome/hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). Irregular menstrual cycles were reported by 30% normal-weight, 32% of overweight and 61% of obese women (P = 0.001). 17% of normal-weight, 7% of overweight and 14% of obese women had a history of infertility (P = 0.723). Nulliparity was noted in 57% of normal-weight, 47% of overweight and 57% of obese patients (P = 0.583). Diabetes was reported in 4% of normal-weight, 13% of overweight and 35% of obese patients (P < 0.001). 28% of normal-weight, 26% of overweight and 14% of obese patients had synchronous primary tumors of the endometrium and ovary. Conclusions. As expected, a significantly higher proportion of obese and overweight women had diabetes and irregular menstrual cycles. Among the normal-weight women, a high proportion were nulliparous, had a history of infertility, irregular menstrual cycles and synchronous tumors of the endometrium and ovary when compared with the general population. This suggests that hormonal factors, and possibly polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), may contribute to the development of endometrial cancer in young normal-weight women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Normal-weight women
  • Obesity
  • PCOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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