Here, I am going to speak about something really serious, something which makes your feel frightened.
I don’t want to alarm you, you must not think the sword of Damocles is hanging over your head.
Let’s deal with figures PCOS is associated with a significantly high risk of developing the endometrial cancer.
It is frightening, I know that. The word cancer is matched to suffering, death (which, fortunately, thanks to the scientific researches and new technologies is getting more and more infrequent); it means that you are deprived of your identity to become a patient who feels desperate and lost in corridors and waiting rooms of numberless hospitals.
Here I don’t want to make you feel frightened, but, on the contrary, I want to give you hope and bravery to do the right things to safeguard your future life.
Some bad news, first: PCOS women show a higher risk (from 3 to 7%) of onset of endometrial cancer than non-PCOS women. The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus which sheds according to the menstruation process. The cancer usually arises in the upper part of the uterus and it can’t be detected by the Pap smear and it results in a significant bleeding which is not associated with the menstrual period and lasts for weeks. It usually occurs in over forty-year-old women.
Some good news: it is well recognizable (it is low malignant tumor) and a prompt and precise diagnosis ensures a high percentage of recovery.
Why is this type of tumor matched to PCOS? The link is clear: the low quantity of progesterone. This hormone is secreted significantly only after the ovulation; so, if the ovulation occurs few times in a year, the level of progesterone will be scarce. It results in a thickening of the endometrium and in abundant but infrequent menstrual periods, which (this has not been demonstrated clearly, but the evidence is significant), along with the proliferating effect of the insulin and of the IGF growth factor-1, increases the risk of endometrial cancer.
What can you do? Face up to reality and dealt with the polycystic syndrome ovary syndrome seriously. Pay attention to what you feel, don’t underestimate anything, don’t be afraid of seeing your gynecologist, and have regular check-ups. Trust your doctor’s experience. choose a reliable professional who listens to your problems patiently, who is not always in a hurry because another patient is waiting, and examines you carefully. But first of all, your doctor should be the person who makes feel you at easy, the person you have no secrets with.
Some scientific studies have shown that a regular consumption of progesterone for 10-15 days after the ovulation, every month, for a period of time which is established by your doctor, or a IUD progesterone may favor the health of the urine walls and reduce the risk of the endometrial cancer.
Don’t be afraid of those prejudices about birth control pills and their side effects. A reliable doctor will tell you that these side effects are highly subjective, and some women don’t show them at all. He or she will tell you all the truth and will work for your good.
If this article has helped you to find out something you didn’t known about PCOS, don’t be afraid but turn the anxiety into small healthy changes to make in your everyday routine: care about what you eat, do some exercise, think positively. It is not a question of time, it a question of motivation: you will find time because it is worth the effort. Don’t out it off any more.
- Balen A. Polycistic ovary syndrome and cancer. Hum Reprod Update 2001; 7:522-525
- Eden J. Polycistic ovary syndrome. Allen & Unwin Ed. 2005