Can Endometriosis Lead To Cancer?

Can Endometriosis Develop Into Cancer?

No, endometriosis implants never turn cancerous (endometriosis has nothing for example to do with endometrial cancer). However it is possible that whatever causes endometriosis (and we still don't know what does) may also encourage cancer to grow in other parts of the body. Research shows that women with endometriosis have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer (by nearly 50 percent), endocrine cancer (by 33 percent), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (by 25 percent) and brain tumors (by 20 percent). While these figures may sound scary, it is important to keep it in perspective. All of these cancers are relatively rare. In fact the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology said that the lifetime risk of a woman with endometriosis getting them is not really something she should worry about. Another interesting finding from the same study found that women who had a hysterectomy procedure before or at the time of their endometriosis diagnosis did not show an increase risk of ovarian cancer. This suggests a prophylactic (preventive) effect.

Other Health Problems Associated With Endometriosis

Endometriosis seems to deplete the autoimmune system making it more vulnerable to infections and disease. Increasingly research indicates that long-term endometriosis increases the risks of other serious health conditions including:

1. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, underactive thyroid and multiple sclerosis (MS).
2. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS is a hundred times more common in women with endometriosis).
3. Fibromyalgia syndrome.
4. Mitral valve prolapse, a heart problem where a valve of the heart does not close properly.
5. Rheumatoid arthritis.

If you think you may have symptoms of endometriosis such as painful periods (dysmenorrhea) and pain with sexual intercourse (dyspareunia), ask your doctor to carry out an examination. The sooner you are treated for the condition, the less the risk you have of developing other problems. Read also about: Endometriosis alternative treatments. Reflexology and Chinese medicine are achieving excellent results in reducing complications.

Cancer Prevention

If you are worried about cancer, read our advice on cancer prevention tips. Some studies suggest that nearly 90 percent of cancers can be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices and reducing exposure to carcinogens (cancer causing substances). Also, read our article on ovarian cancer prevention which discusses the birth control pill and cancer screening.

Related Questions
• Endometriosis staged from mild to severe: What are the stages of endometriosis?
• Recurrent miscarriage and complications: Can endometriosis cause miscarriages?
• Menstrual problems and irregular periods: Can endometriosis cause missed periods?
• Diagnostic methods and procedures: Can endometriosis be seen on ultrasound?

• Need more information? See: Guide to Endometriosis
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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