Article

Polycystic ovary syndrome increases the risk of endometrial cancer in women aged less than 50 years: an Australian case-control study.

School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia.
Cancer Causes and Control (Impact Factor: 2.96). 10/2010; 21(12):2303-8. DOI: 10.1007/s10552-010-9658-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is commonly cited as a risk factor for endometrial cancer, supporting epidemiological evidence is currently very limited. Our aim was to assess the associations between PCOS, PCOS symptoms, and risk of endometrial cancer in women aged less than 50 years.
Data came from a national population-based case-control study in Australia. Cases with newly diagnosed histologically confirmed endometrial cancer were identified through treatment clinics and cancer registries Australia wide. Controls were randomly selected from the national electoral roll. Women were interviewed about their reproductive and medical history, including self-reported PCOS, and lifestyle. Current analyses were restricted to women aged under 50 (156 cases, 398 controls). We estimated odds ratios (OR) using logistic regression to adjust for confounding factors.
Women with PCOS had a fourfold increased risk of endometrial cancer compared to women without PCOS (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.7-9.3). This association was attenuated when additionally adjusted for body mass index (OR 2.2, 95% CI 0.9-5.7). Risk was slightly greater when restricted to Type I cancers. PCOS symptoms including hirsutism and very irregular periods were significantly associated with endometrial cancer risk.
These data extend existing findings, including adjustment for confounders, suggesting PCOS is a risk factor for endometrial cancer.

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    • "PCOS and EC share many of the same risk factors and a recent population-based case-control study in 135 Australia found that women with PCOS have a four-fold increased risk of EC compared to women without PCOS (Fearnley, et al. 2010). This risk was elevated for type 1 cancers and had a greater association with symptoms of androgen excess such as hirsutism (OR 2.4, all EC cases) and irregular periods (OR 3.1, all EC cases) (Fearnley et al. 2010). "
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    • "In addition, endometrial estrogen production in cancer cells might amplify the effect of estrogens naturally produced in the ovaries and delivered via the circulation. been reported that PCOS women with endometrial hyperplasia have a four times greater risk of developing EC than non-PCOS women [20]. Although women with PCOS have an increased risk of developing EC [11], the risk is not the same in all women as evidenced by the fact that not all women with PCOS develop EC and not all women with EC suffer from PCOS. "
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