PCOS may increase overall cancer risk: JAMA study
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are 15% more likely to develop any cancer vs. women without the condition, with risk further elevated for cancers of the endometrium, ovary, pancreas and kidney, according to a research letter published in JAMA Oncology. The study was carried out on a Swedish cohort.

The researchers analyzed data from on 14,764 women aged 15 to 50 years between 1985 and 2009 who were diagnosed with PCOS (mean age at study entry, 29 years). Researchers followed the cohort until cancer diagnosis, emigration, death or Dec. 31, 2009. To address the influence of menopause, HRs (Hazard Ratios) for women aged at least 51 years were estimated separately. Within the cohort, 182 women had primary cancers.

The researchers found that PCOS was associated with a 15% overall increased cancer risk. Additionally, researchers observed excess cancer risks for women with PCOS at the endometrium, pancreas and kidney, as well as the skeletal and hematopoietic system. Women with PCOS were also more likely to develop thyroid cancer vs. women without the condition and were at increased risk for cancer at other endocrine gland sites.

“Our study indicates that cancer may need to be added to the spectrum of long-term health consequences of PCOS and warrants increased surveillance among these patients,” the researchers wrote.

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