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Good Housekeeping
February 28, 2012

Endometriosis May Make Women More Vulnerable to Certain Types of Ovarian Cancer

What other risk factors are there for ovarian cancer? New research says endometriosis might be one of them.

Around 10 percent of women are affected by a gynecological condition called endometriosis. Now, new research is also saying that these women are susceptible to certain types of ovarian cancer. There are five major ovarian cancer subtypes that women typically have to watch out for. They are mainly high-grade serous, low-grade serous, clear cell, endometrioid, and mucinous carcinomas.

Researchers from The Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium wanted to find out just which ovarian cancers would be more likely to appear because of an existing endometriosis condition. From 13 case-control studies, they analyzed data from over 23,000 women. Results revealed that women with endometriosis increased their chances of getting clear cell ovarian cancer by more than threefold. Meanwhile, the risk of getting endometrioid tumors was twice as likely as normal. Low-grade serous ovarian cancers were also associated with endometriosis. Researchers have not uncovered any evidence that linked endometriosis to high-grade serous and mucinous carcinomas.

Despite the seemingly alarming news, authors say that most women afflicted with endometriosis still don’t develop ovarian cancer. However, it’s important for doctors to look into any possible symptoms in women with endometriosis.

For more on ovarian cancer and other related diseases, check these out:

(Photo by Ryan James Photography via Flickr Creative Commons)
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