New research suggests uterine cancer, generally more common in older women and is long known to disproportionately affect Black women, is now rising rapidly among reproductive-aged Hispanic women.

In 2018, Hispanic women had the highest uterine cancer rate among young reproductive-aged women between ages 35 and 39. Cases have been rising a steady 4% each year since 2001.

Experts are trying to figure out what is causing the disparity and raise awareness among medical professionals and patients to get screened.

One option to lower risk for uterine cancer is taking a contraceptive, said NCMS member and gynecologic oncologist Dr. Lucybeth Nieves-Arriba at Novant Health.

But that might not be an option if a patient has obesity or smokes because of complications like blood clots, she said. That’s why it’s essential, she said, to work with a clinical team for a personalized plan to catch it early and evaluate options.

“With awareness, in any doctor these little flashlights should turn on: If they see somebody that is obese and having irregular periods, they cannot just brush it off,” she said.

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