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Endometriosis increases ovarian cancer risk February 26, 2012

Posted by patoconnor in cancer, gynecological cancer, ovarian cancer, tubal cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer.
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Endometriosis increases ovarian cancer risk

By Stephen Adams

Thursday February 23 2012

WOMEN who suffer from endometriosis are at more than twice the risk of developing three common forms of ovarian cancer, according to new research.

Celeste Leigh Pearce from the University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, lead author of the study, said the “breakthrough” could lead to screening programmes or risk-reduction surgery for higher-risk women.

She and her team found that endometriosis tripled a woman’s lifetime risk of developing a type called clear cell ovarian cancer, from 1 in 500 to one in 180.

It also more than doubled the risk of two other types, called endometrioid and low-grade serous ovarian cancer, from one in 400 to one in 180.

The US researchers made their conclusions in The Lancet Oncology after looking at data from over 23,000 women, of whom almost 8,000 had invasive ovarian cancer.

Dr Paul Pharoah from Cambridge University said it was “well established” that having endometriosis increased a woman’s lifetime risk of all types of ovarian cancer from about one in 50 to one in 40.

Prof Hani Gabra, director of the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre at Imperial College London, described the study as “interesting”.

“However, most women with endometriosis will not go on to develop ovarian cancer,” he added.

“It is important that all women should be aware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and consult their GP if they are concerned.”

About 10 per cent of women are thought to develop endometriosis, where womb lining tissue develops outside the uterus, although estimates vary. It can cause painful periods, while sex can hurt, and it can reduce fertility too.

– Stephen Adams

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