Preventing uterine (uterus) cancer

It is not always possible to prevent womb cancer, but some things are believed to reduce the risk of the condition.

Healthy weight, diet and exercise

The most effective way of preventing womb cancer is to maintain a healthy weight.

The best way to avoid becoming overweight or obese is to eat healthily and exercise regularly.

A low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended, including wholegrains and at least five portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables.

For most people, a total of at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as cycling or fast walking) every week is recommended. Ideally, this should be spread across the week into at least five separate periods.

If you haven't exercised before or haven't done it for some time, see your GP for a health check-up before you start a new exercise programme.

Soya

Some research has suggested that a diet high in soya may possibly help prevent womb cancer. Soya contains isoflavens, which may help protect the lining of the womb. Foods that are high in soya include soya beans and tofu. However, more research into this area needs to be carried out.

Contraception

Research has also shown that long-term use of the combined contraceptive pill (the pill) can lower the risk of womb cancer.

Other types of contraception such as contraceptive implants and the intrauterine system (IUS) work by releasing progestogen (a synthetic version of progesterone). These may also reduce the risk of womb cancer.

Last revised: 21 November 2012

Next review: 21 November 2014

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