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There's A New Potential Risk For Ovarian Cancer, Scientists Say

These findings can be instrumental for scientists in further comprehending both illnesses.

One of the most frightening diagnoses a woman can receive from her OB-GYN is that of ovarian cancer. This horrible disease is the #2 most common kind of gynecologic cancer in the country, affecting 1 out of 70 females throughout their lifespan. Researchers have recently discovered a genetic connection and potential contributing linkage between some kinds of ovarian cancer and endometriosis, and you'll want to know about it. Read on to learn more about the new potential risk for ovarian cancer, and next up, read The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Understanding ovarian cancer and endometriosis

Ovarian cancer medical card.

To understand the two diseases, ovarian cancer occurs when your ovarian cells develop and reproduce in an abnormal way. You normally have two ovaries in your pelvis, and each is positioned on one side of your uterus. The function of your ovaries is to generate eggs and hormones, specifically progesterone and estrogen. Difficulties can occur if your genes that manage the growth of your ovarian cells start to function improperly.

Endometriosis happens when a woman's cells grow outside of her uterus lining. The very painful condition is very common and can many times go undiagnosed.

Related: Sure Signs You May Have Ovarian Cancer

The stats

couple listening to doctor in his office

According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, females aged 50 through 75 make up 2/3 of all ovarian cancer cases. For women under 30 years of age, the percentage drops to 5%. Approximately 1 out of 10 ovarian cancer cases can usually be attributed to a gene mutation or genetics.

As far as endometriosis is concerned, over 11% of American women aged 15 through 44 could be affected by it. This condition is extremely common amongst women in their 30s and 40s and can make it more difficult to conceive.

Researchers have discovered a genetic link between ovarian cancer and endometriosis

woman consulting with her female doctor

Researchers have recently discovered a genetic link between certain kinds of ovarian cancer and endometriosis, based on data studied from various "genome-wide association studies." Although any patient diagnosed with endometriosis has an extremely low risk of developing ovarian cancer, these findings can be instrumental for scientists in further comprehending both illnesses and making strides on how physicians can care for their patients more effectively.

Sally Mortlock, molecular bioscientist from the University of Queensland, Australia stresses (via ScienceAlert), "We don't want women with endometriosis to worry, but rather we want them to be aware and know that the purpose of this study was to increase our understanding of both of these diseases by understanding the genetic link between them." Mortlock continues to say, "Overall, studies have estimated that 1 in 76 women are at risk of developing ovarian cancer in their lifetime, and having endometriosis increases this slightly to 1 in 55."

For more…

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Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa