Environmental (nongenetic) factors in gynecological cancers: update and future perspectives

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Globally, gynecological cancers comprise three of the seven most common female cancers and are responsible for more than 1,000,000 new cases and 500,000 deaths annually. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding the role of environmental factors in gynecological cancer etiology and survival, focusing on those that are potentially amenable to intervention. Strong associations with use of exogenous hormones are countered by opposing risks of breast cancer, thus current hormonal preparations are not an option for prevention. Weight control would reduce risk of endometrial cancer but this and other lifestyle modifications are unlikely to have a major effect on gynecological cancer mortality rates. There is little information regarding the potential for lifestyle changes to improve outcomes for women with gynecological cancer.

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