The number of women in Britain dying each year from womb cancer has risen by almost 18 percent in the last decade, according to a cancer charity.

Cancer Research UK said rising obesity was likely to be behind a sharp increase in women being diagnosed with the disease and had led to a "hugely troubling" rise in death rates.

In the last 10 years, the mortality rate from uterine cancer has risen from 3.1 to 3.7 deaths per 100,000, with more than 1,900 women dying from the illness in 2010.

From the mid-1990s, cases of womb cancer in Britain have climbed 43 percent from 13.7 to 19.6 per 100,000 women, figures published by the charity show.

Before this time, incidence of the disease had been constant for at least 25 years and death rates had been falling, Cancer Research UK said.

The charity says obesity at least doubles the risk of womb cancer and advises women that maintaining a healthy body weight is the best way of protecting against the disease.

Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said: ?Despite survival rates continuing to improve, these worrying figures show more women are still dying from womb cancer.

"This appears to be related to a rise in the incidence of womb cancer, so it?s essential women receive support to help them reduce their risk."

Despite the increase in mortality rates, women are also living longer after diagnosis, with 77 percent of women now surviving five years or more after diagnosis. Between 1971 and 1975, the figure was only 61 percent.

Professor Jonathan Ledermann, a gynaecological cancer expert for Cancer Research UK, said: ?It?s hugely troubling that more women are dying from womb cancer, but we shouldn?t let this cloud the fact that the chances of surviving the disease are still better than ever.

"This is due to better organisation of care for women?s cancers and more widespread use of one-stop clinics for post-menopausal bleeding, as well as advances in the use of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy through clinical trials."

Symptoms of womb cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding -- especially in post-menopausal women -- abdominal pain and pain during sex.

[Woman getting ultrasound photo via Shutterstock]