Endometriosis Increases Risk for Endometrial Cancer, Breast Cancer

By Dave Quaile, MD /alert Contributor
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It has been suggested that the estrogen-dependent disease, endometriosis, can increase the risk for endometrial cancer and breast cancer, according to recent data published in BMC Women’s Health.

According to the study from Jiatian Ye, MD, from the department of gynecology and obstetrics at Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children and Ministry of Education, West China Second Hospital, Sichuan University, a knowledge gap exists between endometriosis and the risk of several types of cancer.

“Currently, we have limited knowledge of endometriosis, and knowing its association with several cancer types can enhance our understanding of endometriosis pathophysiology, which may advance the treatment and clinical management of endometriosis,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis to disentangle these intriguing and controversial issues.”

Ye and colleagues searched identified relevant studies published online between 2011 and 2021 using PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and four Chinese databases. A total of 1,369 articles were used in the meta-analysis. The researchers used the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale to evaluate the design and quality of all studies and calculated the pooled risk ratio using the random model.

According to the study, the Q test and I2 were used to evaluate the degree of heterogeneity of eligible studies. To assess the publication bias, the researchers used funnel plots and Begg’s and Egger’s tests to assess publication bias. Fourteen cohort studies and seven case-control studies were included in the research.

Data from large cohort and case-control studies indicate that women with endometriosis had an increased risk of both endometrial cancer (RR = 1.662; 95% CI, 1.148-2.407) and breast cancer (RR = 1.082; 95% CI, 1.001-1.169). According to Ye and colleagues, having a clear understanding of the link between endometriosis and cancer has important public and prevalent clinical implications.

“Our meta-analysis clearly showed that endometriosis can increase the risk of endometrial cancer and breast cancer, which may be significant for long-term management, but we cannot ignore the between-study heterogeneity, which may influence the credibility of the results of our study,” the researchers wrote. “For future research, we should perform further stratification research based on the AFS stage or macrophenotype, restricting the increased risk of cancer to specific populations, which may be more valuable for regular screening.”


Disclosures: Some authors declared financial ties to drugmakers. See full abstract for details.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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