EH logo

What is the Relationship Between Endometriosis and Cancer?

Endometriosis and Cancer: Is There a Hidden Connection?
October 19, 2023

Endometriosis and cancer are two distinct medical conditions, but there have been studies exploring a potential link between them. However, it's important to note that having endometriosis does not mean you will develop cancer, and the majority of people with endometriosis do not develop cancer as a result of their condition.

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus, commonly in the pelvic area. It can cause pain, heavy periods, infertility, and other symptoms. Although the exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, researchers believe it involves a combination of genetic, hormonal, and immune factors.

When it comes to the relationship between endometriosis and cancer, certain studies have found a slightly increased risk of certain types of ovarian cancer in individuals with endometriosis. The risk is still relatively low, and most people with endometriosis will not develop ovarian cancer.

Specifically, the two types of ovarian cancer that have been associated with endometriosis are endometrioid and clear cell ovarian cancers. Endometrioid ovarian cancer shares some similarities with endometriosis, as both involve the growth of tissue resembling the endometrium. Clear cell ovarian cancer has also been linked to endometriosis, but the association is less well-established.

It's important to remember that the vast majority of people with endometriosis will not develop cancer. However, if you have endometriosis, it's still a good idea to maintain regular medical check-ups and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance and monitor your health appropriately.