A rare but aggressive form of uterine cancer appears to be leading to an increase in U.S. deaths from the disease, especially among black women, researchers said Thursday.

In eight years, mortality from the aggressive type increased by 2.7% per year, while mortality was stable for the less aggressive type, their study found. Black women had more than twice the number of uterine cancer deaths compared to other racial and ethnic groups, with a more aggressive type.

The aggressive type – called endometrial cancer type 2 – is harder to treat. By the end of the study period, it accounted for about 20% of cases and 45% of deaths.

“Most cancers have improved over the last 20 years. It is alarming that we have not had the same success with uterine cancer, ”said Dr. Pamela Soliman of the Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who was not involved in the study.

“This allows us to focus our efforts on specific areas that could potentially have a greater impact on mortality,” Saliman said.

About 65,950 new cases of uterine cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, and 12,550 women are expected to die from it. Irregular bleeding may be a worrying sign, but recommended screening is not recommended.

The researchers analyzed cancer data in the U.S. for women 40 years and older. They found that overall uterine cancer mortality increased by 1.8% per year from 2010 to 2017.

Annual rates increased by 3.4% among Asian women, 3.5% among black women, 6.7% among Hispanic women, and 1.5% among white women. (Researchers have taken into account the frequency of uterine removal, which varies by race. Women who have had their uterus removed cannot develop uterine cancer.)

Obesity is a risk factor for less aggressive uterine cancer, but there is no clear risk factor for the more aggressive type, said Megan Clark of the National Cancer Institute, who led the study, published in the journal JAMA Oncology.

“We believe it’s more common among black women and increasing among all women,” Clark said. “It’s very surprising and exciting.”

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The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/health/study-black-women-are-highest-among-rising-us-death-rates-from-uterine-cancer/3229810/

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