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Monday, June 17, 2013

Endometriosis Makes Ovarian Cancer Harder To Treat

Endometriosis and ovarian cancer have been linked in several ways": they both are hard to diagnose being internal conditions, they both can produce growths in places the tissue doesn't grow, they both can spread, and they both can cause pain. Yet endometriosis is a condition of hormones, and beyond infertility and pain it has not really been a lethal condition and it most typically resolves in menopause. Endometriosis itself can have malignant transformation, and it is suspected it is the cause of ovarian cancer in rare cases. This however is not normally a reason to routinely screen women with endometriosis for ovarian cancer. There is an ovarian cancer called endometroid cancer and it's look under the microscope appears to be very similar to endometriosis. Peking Union Medical College researchers began evaluating ovarian cancer patients with known ovarian endometriosis as compared to women where no endometriosis was found when they were found to have an ovarian cancer. And the cancers were a specific and relatively rare clear cell type, the patients did well, and found in much younger women if there was also endometriosis.  The discussion in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has pointed out that we now recognize that it's important to separate types of ovarian cancers as they each do have unique biology and unique prognosis.

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