Uterine Cancer in Baby Boomers

Uterine cancer in women from the baby boomer generation compared to older women

(RxWiki News) Women from the baby boomer generation may have different lifestyle habits than previous generations. Those habits may change the treatments options of lady baby boomers with uterine cancer.

Researchers found that women from the baby boomer generation tended to have their uterine cancers diagnosed earlier, which was more favorable to beating cancer. 

But when diagnosed at similar stages of development, the cancers did not appear to be any different between the two generations.

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Mohamed A. Elshaikh, MD, from the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, led an investigation to see whether uterine cancers in the baby boomer generation had different characteristics compared to cancers in previous generations.

The term “baby boomer” refers to the generation born after World War II. Opinions vary, but generally people born in the US between 1946 and 1964 are considered baby boomers.

In background information of the study, the authors said the unique lifestyle habits of those from the baby boomer generation might contribute to different uterine cancer characteristics compared to previous generations.

Researchers set out to gather information on uterine cancer in baby boomers as they are now entering retirement and posing a burden on medical resources.

For the study, researchers reviewed the records of 595 women who had uterine cancer and underwent a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) by 1988. All of the women were born between 1926 and 1964. A total of 361 women born between 1926 and 1945 were grouped into the pre-baby boomer category. A total of 234 women born between 1946 and 1964 were placed in the baby boomer category.

When compared to the pre-baby boomer generation, women in the baby boomer group had the following differences in uterine cancer characteristics and treatments:

  • Tumors diagnosed at earlier stages of the cancer
  • Higher body mass index (weight/height ratio)
  • Lower tumor grades (the higher the grade, the more abnormal the cells)
  • More lymph nodes dissected
  • Less cancer spreading to the blood vessels
  • Less use of secondary therapy measures outside of primary cancer therapies
  • Younger age at the time of diagnosis

No differences were found between the two groups when it came to living through uterine cancer or living in general when the cancer's stage, grade and treatment were equal.

The stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis and the level of tumor grade were predictors of living without a recurrence of uterine cancer and living through uterine cancer.

As such, the pre-baby boomer generation had shorter life expectancies after having a hysterectomy compared to the baby boomers.

The authors recommended that more research would be necessary to fully understand the differences between uterine cancers in the baby boomer generation and other generations.

This study was published in February in Anticancer Research: International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment.

No financial information was made publicly available. No conflicts of interest were reported.

Review Date: 
February 16, 2013