More women are dying from uterine cancer – otherwise known as womb cancer – today than 10 years ago, figures have revealed.
The increase in deaths mirrors a rise in the number of women that are diagnosed with the disease every year.
In total deaths have increased by 20 percent in the past decade and diagnoses are 43 percent higher today than in the mid-1990s.
However, despite the sharp increases in deaths and occurrence of womb cancer, survival rates are rising too.
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Cancer Research UK, who released the figures, says that 77 percent of women diagnosed with womb cancer are now surviving for five years or more.
“It’s hugely troubling that more women are dying from womb cancer, but we shouldn’t let this cloud the fact that the chances of surviving the disease are still better than ever,” said Professor Jonathan Ledermann, Cancer Research UK's gynaecological cancer expert.
“This is due to better organisation of care for women’s cancers and more widespread use of one-stop clinics for post-menopausal bleeding, as well as advances in the use of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy through clinical trials.
“It’s clear we’re making great progress, but we don’t yet fully understand what’s driving up cases of womb cancer, so there’s still lots more to do.”
It has been suggested that the increase in diagnoses of uterine cancer and subsequent deaths could be down to rising levels of obesity.
Previous studies have found obesity doubles a woman’s risk of developing womb cancer, as well as leading to a number of other cancers too.
Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, added: “Despite survival rates continuing to improve, these worrying figures show more women are still dying from womb cancer.
“This appears to be related to a rise in the incidence of womb cancer, so it is essential women receive support to help them reduce their risk.
“Maintaining a healthy bodyweight can halve a woman’s risk of womb cancer and is one of the best ways to protect against the disease.
“Women should also be aware of the symptoms of womb cancer which include abnormal vaginal bleeding – especially for post-menopausal women - abdominal pain and pain during sex.”
Since the late 1990s, the mortality rates have risen from 3.1 to 3.7 per 100,000 in the UK alone, while the number of women being diagnosed with womb cancer has increased from 13.7 to 19.6 per 100,000.
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