Approximately 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis. The link between Endometriosis and Ovarian Cancer is becoming more clear.
Here’s what you need to know.
Endometriosis is a medical condition which occurs when the cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body. It attacks the female reproductive system and can cause pain, irregular bleeding, and fertility issues. While it is most common in women in their 30’s and 40’s, it can affect any woman. The most telling sign of endometriosis is pain during and before menstruation, during sexual intercourse, and pain in the abdomen, lower back and pelvic area. A woman with a mother or sister with endometriosis is significantly more likely to contract endometriosis than other women. Other risks of developing the condition include beginning menstruation at an early age, never having children, and frequent and long-lasting periods.
The connection between Endometriosis and Ovarian Cancer has been studied before, but the most recent data shows a significantly increased risk. The newest research found that women with endometriosis have a three times higher risk of developing clear-cell ovarian cancer and twice the risk of developing endometrial tumors.
While the association of Endometriosis and Ovarian Cancer is something to recognize, it is important to remember that most women with endometriosis do not go on to develop ovarian cancer. The findings should alert patients and physicians of the heightened risk, so a comprehensive care plan can be established.
At this point it is not recommended that women with endometriosis undergo rigorous cancer screenings, as that has not shown to be effective. However, this new information can help to further our understanding of better screening methods, who should receive them, and when.
Ovarian Cancer causes about 15,000 American deaths each year. Any new information in the fight against it is valuable. Women’s Cancer and Surgical Care will continue to stay current on the link between Endometriosis and Ovarian Cancer.