Obesity and Endometrial Cancer in Women

Introduction

Various current studies have recurrently produced similar findings with respect to the role of obesity in increasing the risk of developing endometrial cancer in women. It is apparent that women with obesity and other related conditions such as diabetes face a higher risk level of developing tumors in the uterus. These findings have compelled many researchers to look into the issue of obesity. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two studies, with a close focus on their hypotheses, methods, and findings regarding obesity and endometrial cancer.

Hypothesis

Clark, Zhou, Montgomery, Gehrig, and Bae-Jumb (2016) developed a study to highlight the relationship between diet-induced obesity and the development of endometrial cancer. The researchers hypothesized that diet-induced obesity increases the chances of developing endometrial cancer. Beavis, Cheema, Holschneider, Duffy, and Amneus (2015) conducted a study to evaluate the awareness of obesity as a predisposing factor to the development of endometrial cancer among women.

The researchers hypothesized that more than 50% of women are not aware that obesity is a major risk factor to the genesis of endometrial cancer. The two studies focused on the role of obesity in increasing the risk of developing tumors in the uterus. However, Clark et al.; (2016) focused on the influence of obesity in the development of tumors, whereas Beavis et al. (2015) focused on the knowledge level of various women on the subject matter.

Methods

Clark et al. (2016) developed two models to study mice to determine the role of diet-induced obesity in the development of endometrial cancer. The researchers divided a sample space of 65 mice into two groups. One of the groups comprised of 30 PTEN heterozygous mice, whereas the other group was made of 35 LKB1/p53 mice. The two groups were further divided into two groups each, with 14 mice from the PTEN mice and 21 mice from the LKB1/p53 group being placed on a high-fat diet, while the rest of the mice from the two groups were placed on a low-fat diet. The experiment took 32 weeks for the PTEN mice and 12 weeks for the LKB1/p53 mice, after which a pathologist examined the uteruses of the mice in the respective groups in search of hyperplasia and cancerous tumors.

The qualitative study conducted by Beavis et al. (2015) used a survey to collect data from 272 targeted respondents, but only 163 respondents submitted the surveys back to the distribution team. The researchers targeted two groups of women. One of the groups was made up of women who had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. The second group comprised of women without a history of endometrial cancer.

The questions in the survey focused on retrieving data about the knowledge of the women about the correlation between obesity and endometrial cancer. The researchers also looked into highlighting some of the factors that could determine the presence of knowledge about the relationship between the disease and weight on the part of the women. Some of the determinants included age, level of schooling, being informed by a doctor, and diagnosis with other health issues related to the reproductive system, among several other factors.

Findings

The study by Clark et al. (2016) revealed that there was no significant difference between the weight of the uteruses of the obese and lean mice. However, there was a clear indication that whenever a case of the tumor was detected, the size of a tumor was larger in the obese mice. Additionally, the findings revealed that the PTEN mice developed more complex and serious tumors, which coincided with the mice having a significantly larger weight than the mice in the other groups.

The fact that the obese mice in the LKB1/p53 group showed larger tumors implies that obesity may lead to a higher level of aggressiveness in endometrial cancer. The difference between the lengths of exposure to a high-fat diet for the two groups of mice also reveals that the time of exposure to obesity has an influence on the aggressiveness of endometrial cancer. These findings are instrumental in creating an understanding of the role of obesity in the genesis and aggressiveness of endometrial cancer, and the findings may be used by health care providers to advise women to exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). Additionally, the findings can be used to educate women on the need to observe the nutritional quality of their daily meals.

Beavis et al. (2015) found that the women in the low-income bracket had the lowest level of knowledge about the relationship between excess body weight and the development of endometrial cancer. 42% of the college-educated women from all ethnic backgrounds also portrayed the possession of adequate knowledge about the risks associated with obesity on the health outcomes of their reproductive organs, including the uterus. Additionally, women who had a prior diagnosis of endometrial cancer or a history of the disease revealed a high level of knowledge of the predisposing factors to the disorder.

The study also revealed that almost half of the women diagnosed with endometrial cancer were not aware of the effects of obesity on their health outcomes. The researchers also found that of the many identified factors that were expected to influence the knowledge of the risks associated with obesity in the development of endometrial cancer, diagnosis of the disorder was the highest influence of knowledge among the women. This implies that most of the women with a history of endometrial cancer had received information about the relationship between obesity and the disorder by their doctors.

Conclusion

The two studies validated their respective hypothesis. It is apparent that obesity is a predisposing factor to the genesis and aggressiveness of end tumors in the uterus. The findings of the two articles can be combined to create a better understanding of the development of endometrial cancer and the application of weight management as a preventive measure. While one study revealed that obesity leads to the development of larger and more aggressive tumors in the uterus, the other revealed that a large number of women are not aware of this risk. This implies that the health care providers should be compelled to provide women with the information concerning the need to observe their weight through the consumption of healthy diets.

Women need to have their BMI checked regularly to ensure that it is within a healthy range. This should be particularly applied to women fighting endometrial cancer because the findings from the research revealed that obesity could result in a higher rate of aggressiveness of the tumors in the uterus. Physicians should use the findings in the two studies to develop a campaign to educate women on weight management as one of the most effective preventive and management approaches to endometrial cancer.

References

Beavis, A. L., Cheema, S., Holschneider, C. H., Duffy, E. L., & Amneus, M. W. (2015). Almost half of women with endometrial cancer or hyperplasia do not know that obesity affects their cancer risk. Gynecologic oncology reports, 13, 71-75.

Clark, L. H., Zhou, C., Montgomery, S. A., Gehrig, P. A., & Bae-Jump, V. (2016). Diet-induced obesity promotes tumor aggressiveness in genetically engineered mouse models of endometrial hyperplasia/cancer. Cancer Research, 76(14 Supplement), 680-680.

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