Epidemiological studies have shown that cigarette smoking is associated with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer, in contrast to the increased risks observed with many other non-respiratory-tract cancers, including those of the bladder, pancreas, and cervix uteri. Some studies of endometrial cancer suggest that the inverse association with smoking is limited to certain groups of women, such as those who are postmenopausal or those taking hormone-replacement therapy. The biological mechanisms that might underlie this association remain unclear, although several have been proposed, including an antioestrogenic effect of cigarette smoking on circulating oestrogen concentrations, a reduction in relative bodyweight, and an earlier age at menopause. We have examined the evidence for an association between cigarette smoking and risk of endometrial cancer, including studies related to the proposed biological mechanisms.
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