Introduction: Endometrial cancer rates are rising in parallel with the global obesity epidemic. Our aim was to assess the willingness of women at greatest risk of obesity-related endometrial cancer to engage with risk-reducing strategies and establish perceived barriers that may preclude their participation in a randomized controlled trial of primary endometrial cancer prevention.
Materials and methods: Women attending gynecology, obesity and sleep apnea clinics in Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre-affiliated hospitals with obesity classes II (BMI 35-39.9kg/m2) and III (BMI ≥40kg/m2) were invited to participate in a cross-sectional survey. We asked women about their perceived risk, knowledge of risk factors and willingness to engage with endometrial cancer risk-reducing interventions.
Results: Seventy-four women with a median age of 51 years (range 22-73) and BMI of 47kg/m2 (range 34-81) took part in the study. Two-thirds (65.6%) knew that obesity was a risk factor for endometrial cancer but few were able to recall other major risk factors. Just over half (53.5%) perceived their risk of developing endometrial cancer to be higher than average. Women were prepared to lose weight (94%), eat healthily (91%), exercise more (87%), take a pill every day (74%) or receive an intra-uterine device (49%) for primary endometrial cancer prevention. Perceived barriers included cost, forgetting, willpower, finding time, physical fitness, social anxiety, possible side effects and previous bad experiences.
Conclusion: Women at highest risk of obesity-related endometrial cancer may not always appreciate their susceptibility. However, willingness to engage in risk-reducing strategies suggests recruitment to a randomized controlled trial for primary endometrial cancer prevention could be feasible.
Keywords: chemoprevention; endometrial cancer; exercise; levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system; metformin; obesity; risk reducing interventions; weight loss.
© 2022 Derbyshire et al.