top of page

African Americans and Endometrial Cancer

Connect with other people of color who have been diagnosed with cancer at our weekly support group.

Saturdays at 10 am at New Hope Baptist Church at 3701 Colorado Blvd. This group offers both in-person and online support. For more information or to register, contact 303-724-1235.  

  • African American individuals are three times more likely to have an unfavorable subtype of endometrial cancer and an associated five-year survival rate that is 40-50% than others diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

​​

  • 41% of endometrial cancers in black individuals are found to have spread to nearby lymph nodes, tissues, organs, or distant parts of the body compared to 27% in white people.

​​

  • 23% of African American individuals are more likely to have uterine sarcomas compared to 9% of white people, 3% more likely to have clear cell carcinomas vs. 2% for white people, and 12% to have serous carcinomas vs. 5% for white people.

​​

  • Studies have also found that 27% of African Americans present with Stage III or IV disease, while only 14% of white people do.

​​

  • The five-year survival rate for uterine cancer is 62% in black individuals compared to 83% in white people.

​​

  • Five-year mortality rate is 39% among black individuals compared with 20% among white people.

According to the American Cancer Society, Black women have the highest death rate and shortest survival rate as compared to other races/ethnicities in the United States for most cancers. This is in part due to socioeconomic barriers that restrict these women's access to timely, appropriate, and high quality health care, and also to more aggressive histology of this cancer found in African American women.

Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with endometrial cancer at a later stage and with more aggressive subtypes.

African American woman and doctor

Chemical Hair Relaxers and Uterine Cancer

As of 2023, several landmark studies were published highlighting the link between chemical hair relaxers — which break down proteins in hair to straighten it — and increased rates of uterine cancer.

According to another study published in 2022, deaths from uterine cancer are rising in the United States, and are highest among non-Hispanic Black women, according to researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

 

The higher death rates are related to the rising incidence of aggressive subtypes of uterine cancer. The researchers found that, from 2010 to 2017, deaths of women from all racial and ethnic groups from uterine cancer overall increased 1.8% per year. Deaths from non-endometroid subtypes of uterine cancer—which are more aggressive than endometrioid cancers—increased by 2.7% per year, whereas endometrioid cancer mortality rates were stable during this period. Black women had more than twice the rate of deaths from uterine cancer overall and of non-endometrioid subtypes compared with other racial and ethnic groups.

Informational Videos

What Black Women need to know about Endometrial Cancer

Recognizing the symptoms of Endometrial Cancer

Important Resources  

Endometrial Cancer Action Network for African-Americans (ECANA) - a group of women who have come together to create support, community, and empowerment for any African-American woman affected by endometrial cancer.

Uterine Cancer Support Group for Women of African Descent - meets virtually the 2nd Monday of every month from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm MT. Hosted by SHARE Cancer Support.

Resources:

https://ecanawomen.org

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2019-2021. (2019). Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans-2019-2021.pdf

Long, B., Liu, F. W., & Bristow, R. E. (2013). Disparities in uterine cancer epidemiology, treatment, and survival among African Americans in the United States. Gynecologic oncology, 130(3), 652–659. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.05.020

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/black-women-hair-relaxers-cancer-rcna117685

Hair straightening chemicals associated with higher uterine cancer risk | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Uterine cancer deaths rising among Black women - NCI

bottom of page