Vol 47, No 5 (2009)
Original paper
Published online: 2010-01-14

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PCOS and cancer risk.

Artur J Jakimiuk, Tadeusz Issat
DOI: 10.2478/v10042-009-0092-1
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2009;47(5):101-105.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects approximately 5 to 10% of women of reproductive age. It is the most common reason of anovulation in infertile women. PCOS is accompanied by such conditions as oligo- or anovulation, hipertestosteronism, lower cell sensitivity to insulin, type II diabetes, hyperlipidemia and obesity. Each of the above-mentioned conditions is an approved risk factor proved to predispose towards cancer. However, PCOS is also a disease entity which differs in its clinical manifestation. For example not all patients suffer from obesity or hipertestosteronism related symptoms. From the analysis of literature it is possible to draw conclusions, that there is a possible correlation between PCOS and endometrial cancer, which emerges from clinical trials or research focused on molecular changes in endometrium patients with PCOS. On the other hand, correlation between PCOS and breast or ovary cancer is not so strong, in spite of single papers which are showing the link. The main problem in researching the correlation between PCOS and any cancer risk, is there is a very small group of women or the trial is imperfect (e.g. no control group). There is no meta-analysis focused on this correlation in literature. The change of criteria of PCOS in the past is also a big problem, because there was a number of definitions of PCOS, which results in inconsistent PCOS diagnoses over time. In this paper we would like to provide a description of studies that aimed at showing correlation between PCOS and cancer risk and underlying theoretical assumptions.

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