Does Shellfish Intake Lead To Endometrial Carcinoma?

Does Shellfish Intake Lead To Endometrial Carcinoma?

What is Endometrial Carcinoma?

Endometrial carcinoma is the cancer of endometrium, the inner lining of female uterus. Endometrial cancer, also known as corpus cancer or corpus uterine cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. The pathophysiology revolves around uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the endometrium i.e. the inner lining of uterus. These abnormal cells can spread to other parts of the body as well.

Shell fish and endometrial carcinoma link:

Shellfish is traditionally considered as a healthy seafood but do you have any idea that its overconsumption can leads to many health-related issues???

According to a new survey, too much consumption of some seafood like shell fish can elevate the risk of developing cancer. This is mainly because sea food (specifically shell fish) contains large amount of cadmium which is associated with the risk of developing endometrium cancer.

What is Cadmium?

Cadmium is a metal contaminant that is found in various sea foods such as shell fish, marine fish, mollusks etc.

The new research is based on the outcome of five years observational study and is published in the peer reviewed journal PLOS One. The research was carried out on 1510 participants all were women, among them 631 women have the history of endometrium cancer and 879 women were normal.

As part of the study, the participants filled a comprehensive survey based on 200 questions regarding their diet, lifestyle habits and prospective exposure to different risk factors. Besides this, saliva and urine test were also conducted on these participants in order to analyze the presence of cadmium level in their blood.

Researchers compared the cadmium levels in women with a history of endometrium cancer with the group of normal women with no history of endometrium cancer. The findings indicated that women with high cadmium levels are at a high risk of developing endometrium cancer.

Outcome of the research:

After comprehensive analysis and long term detailed investigation, the researchers came to the following conclusion:

  • Sea foods such as shell fish comprises of large amount cadmium.
  • Excessive consumption of foods containing cadmium enhances the risk of cadmium accumulation in the tissue that leads to infertility.
  • Deposition of cadmium in tissue enhances the risk of developing endometrial cancer.
  • The risk of developing endometrium cancer increases by up to 22 percent in people who consume excessive amount of cadmium containing foods.

Why chances of endometrial cancer increase due to cadmium?

According to research conducted by Jane A. McElroy, PHD from Missouri University of Medicine, endometrial cancer is strongly associated with the estrogen exposure. Cadmium exposure emulates the estrogen and its effect on body. Due to which growth of endometrium has been increased that leads to an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer.

How can we reduce the risk of endometrium cancer?

There are various lifestyle changes that helps you to reduce the risk of developing endometrium cancer linked with cadmium exposure.

  • Our kidney and liver already consist of cadmium; however, smoking further increases and almost double the cadmium concentration in the body.  So, by avoiding or at least reducing smoking can minimize the risk of complications linked with cadmium exposure.
  • Reduce the consumption of cadmium rich foods.
  • The women who have any family history of endometrium cancer should always observe and be attentive to endometrium cancer symptoms such as irregular or abnormal period cycles, bleeding in urine etc.
  • You should periodically visit your doctor for detailed assessment if you are exposed to cadmium due to heavy smokers around you or your workplace.


Cadmium exposure to a high degree can cause many other health related issue and increase the chances of developing many diseases besides endometrium cancer like breast cancer or ovarian cancer. We should reduce the exposure of cadmium level in order to avoid such ailments.

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