Is there a link between endometriosis and endometrial cancer?

Stephen C. Rubin, MD
Last Modified: May 5, 2002

Question:

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My 68-year-old mother has Stage 2 endometrial cancer. She previously suffered from severe endometriosis, requiring extensive surgery. Could you please advise me of any links between endometriosis and endometrial cancer? My sister and I both have endometriosis.

Thank you.

Answer:

Stephen C. Rubin, MD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

Although endometriosis has been suggested as a risk factor for ovarian cancer, there is no known link with endometrial cancers, which arise from the lining of the uterus. A small proportion of endometrial cancers have a hereditary component, and may occur in families together with colon, breast, ovarian, and other cancers. Fortunately, most endometrial cancers are diagnosed early and are completely curable if properly treated. A gynecologic oncologist is the specialist best equipped to recommend treatment and evaluate prognosis.

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