Ovarian and Endometrial Cancers:Revisited

Globally, as of 2010, approximately 160,000 people died from ovarian cancer, up from 113,000 in 1990. The disease is more common in industrialized nations, with the exception of Japan with a 1.4% to 2.5% (1 out of 40-60 women) lifetime chance of developing ovarian cancer. Older women are at highest risk. With more than half of the deaths from ovarian cancer occur in women between 55 and 74 years of age.

As of 2014, approximately 320,000 women are diagnosed with endometrial cancer worldwide each year with 76,000 death, making it the sixth most common cancer in women, just behind ovarian cancer and alike it is more common in developed countries. Unlike most cancers, the number of new cases has risen in recent years, including an increase of over 40% in the England between 1993 and 2013. While this rise in rate has been attributed to many common life styles factors in developed countries such as obesity, the low rate of reproduction seems to be the main reason, not just for endometrial but for ovarian cancer as well! The average woman’s lifetime risk for endometrial cancer is approximately 2–3%, appearing most frequently during perimenopause and menopause, between the ages of 50 and 65.

A long-standing hypothesis with considerable support via animal model studies, in explaining the cause of ovarian cancer is the “incessant ovulation hypothesis”. According to this theory , “repeated cycles of ovulation-induced trauma and repair of the ovarian surface epithelium at the site of ovulation, without pregnancy-induced rest periods, contributes to ovarian cancer development.” Endometrial cancer forms when there are errors in normal endometrial cell growth cycle, i.e. the old or damaged cells do not die for the new cells to grow so there would be a build up of extra cells, all due to lack of reproduction and use of uterus for what is naturally made for! Surprisingly genetics has a minor risk role in both ovarian and endometrial cancers and only 5% and 2-10%. So life style factor, i.e. lack or low use of these reproductive organs, like breast and prostate following the hypothesis of “use or lose”, lead to the cancers of ovary and uterus!

Dr.Mostafa Showraki, MD, FRCPC                                                               Lecturer, University of Toronto,School of Medicine,Author: “ADHD:Revisited” Book “adhdrevisited.com”/”medicinerevisited.com”


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