Women with Endometriosis Should Not Worry About Ovarian CancerBy: Kasthuri Nair - Feb 6, 2018
While women with endometriosis are at increased risk for ovarian cancer, the overall risk is still low and does not warrant invasive interventions.
- The article by Kvaskoff, Horne, and Missmer acknowledges the growing concern surrounding the information that women with endometriosis are at increased risk for ovarian cancer.
- The authors emphasize to clinicians and patients the fact that increase in risk is low and does not warrant invasive intervention.
- It is essential to placate the concerns surrounding endometriosis and increased ovarian cancer risk because the worry will lead to additional stress and expensive, unnecessary interventions.
What’s done here?
- This article in The Lancet was written by a group of individuals that are knowledgeable on the subject of endometriosis and ovarian cancer risk. These authors compile relevant information from different publications to further support their point.
- The authors state that the link between endometriosis and ovarian cancer is often misinterpreted, which can then lead to non-essential and potentially invasive ovarian cancer interventions.
- Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, which reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, is associated with numerous risks including surgical complications, early onset menopause in pre-menopausal women, and increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.
- The relative risks of ovarian cancer are:
- 1.31% or 1 woman out of every 76 women for the general population of women.
- 1.80% or 2 women out of every 100 women for a population of women with endometriosis.
- There are certain types of endometriosis-associated ovarian cancers, but these tumors can be better diagnosed and treated than other ovarian cancers.
- To lower one’s risk of ovarian cancer, one can maintain a balanced diet and weight, exercise, reduce alcohol consumption, and stop smoking.
- In short, the risk of ovarian cancer is still significantly low for a woman with endometriosis. Healthcare providers should reassure women with endometriosis about their low overall risk of ovarian cancer.
Kvaskoff, Horne and Missmer recently published an article in The Lancet titled “Informing women with endometriosis about ovarian cancer risk.” This article was written to address the growing concern surrounding the information that women suffering from endometriosis are at increased risk for ovarian cancer. This matter has led to unnecessary and potentially harmful screening and risk-reducing interventions. One risk-reducing method, the Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, is associated with many risks of its own including fertility issues, early onset menopause in pre-menopausal women, and increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.
While a woman with endometriosis is at increased risk for ovarian cancer, the overall risk for the disease is still low. In fact, women with endometriosis are at 1.80% risk for ovarian cancer whereas women in the general public have a 1.31% risk for ovarian cancer. Additionally, certain types of ovarian cancers are linked with endometriosis; however, these ovarian tumors are more easily detected at earlier stages and highly treatable. Women can also lower their risk of ovarian cancer by consuming a more balanced diet, maintaining healthy body weight, exercising, reducing alcohol consumption, and engaging in smoking cessation. Health care providers should address concerns about endometriosis and ovarian cancer by emphasizing the fact that overall risk is still low and interventions are harmful and unnecessary.
Ovarian Cancer Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy healthy lifestyle surgery endometriosis-cancer cancer