Reducing your risk for uterine cancer

You may lower your risk of developing uterine cancer by doing the following.

Have a healthy body weight

Research shows that you can lower your risk for uterine cancer by having a healthy body weight. Eating well and being physically active can help you have a healthy body weight.

Move more, sit less

Studies show that physical activity may help protect against uterine cancer.

Learn about protective factors

Some drugs and lifestyle choices may help to protect you from developing uterine cancer.

Taking birth control pills (oral contraceptives) that have both estrogen and progesterone may help protect women from developing uterine cancer. Doctors may also consider giving women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who do not ovulate this type of birth control pill to help prevent uterine cancer.

Having children may help lower the risk for uterine cancer.

Research suggests that drinking coffee may help protect against uterine cancer. This is true for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.

Find out if you’re at high risk for uterine cancer

Some women can have a higher than average risk for uterine cancer. Talk to your doctor about your risk. If you are at higher than average risk, you may need to visit your doctor more often to check for uterine cancer. Your doctor will recommend what tests you should have and how often you should have them.

Women who have atypical endometrial hyperplasia usually receive treatment to help prevent the abnormal cells from becoming uterine cancer.

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome should take progesterone therapy to control hormone levels and reduce the risk for uterine cancer.

A prophylactic hysterectomy may be an option for some women who have a very high risk of developing uterine cancer, including some women with Lynch syndrome. This is surgery to remove the uterus before cancer develops. The decision to have a prophylactic hysterectomy should be carefully considered. Talk to your doctor about all the risks and benefits of the surgery and if it’s the best choice for you.

More information about preventing cancer

Learn what you can do to prevent cancer.

Expert review and references

  • Alektiar KM, Abu-Rustum NR, Fleming GF . Cancer of the uterine body. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 73:1048-1064.
  • American Cancer Society. Endometrial Cancer Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention. 2016:
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology. Uterine Cancer. 2017:
  • Carter JS. Medscape Reference: Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer Guidelines. 2016:
  • Cook LS, Meisner ALW, Weiss NS . Endometrial cancer. Thun MJ (ed.). Schottenfeld and Fraumeni Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. 4th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2018: 47:909-923.
  • National Cancer Institute. Endometrial Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2017:
  • World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) . Endometrial Cancer 2013 Report: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Endometrial Cancer (Continuous Update Project) . 2013 .

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

We do our best to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and reliable but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.

The Canadian Cancer Society is not responsible for the quality of the information or services provided by other organizations and mentioned on, nor do we endorse any service, product, treatment or therapy.

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