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Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Nov;83(2):388-93.

Endometrial cancer in women 40 years old or younger.

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Vincent Gynecology Service, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



The aim of this study was to characterize endometrial cancer in women 40 years of age and younger, with special attention toward body-mass index (BMI).


A retrospective review of women age 40 and under with endometrial cancer was performed. Patients were identified via tumor registry data as well as a search of pathology department diagnoses over the dates 1980-1998. Data were abstracted regarding tumor grade and histology, stage, treatment, smoking, use of oral contraceptives, BMI, medical and family history, parity, and survival. Data were also collected with regard to uterine conservation and pregnancies following endometrial cancer diagnoses.


Ninety-five patients were identified. The age range was 24-40 years (median 37) with BMI ranging from 17.5 to 63.6 (median 28.4). Forty-eight patients (52%) were not obese, with BMI < 30. Seventy-six patients (80%) had stage I disease and 60 patients (63%) had grade 1 disease. All but 4 patients had endometrioid histology. Women with BMI < 25 were more likely to have advanced disease (P = 0.04) and more likely to have high-risk histology (P = 0.02). Of the 4 patients with high-risk histology (clear cell or serous papillary), all had BMI < 25. Twelve patients were treated medically rather than surgically, and 4 patients achieved pregnancy, with 5 live births.


Women under 40 who are not obese are at higher risk of both advanced disease and high-risk histology. Further study at the molecular and genetic level is ongoing in our laboratory to determine whether the mechanism of disease is different in slender woman.

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