The impact of endometriosis on ovarian cancer



During an ob.gyn. rotation, a medical student quickly learns the risks related to endometriosis; that is, pelvic pain, abnormal uterine bleeding, and infertility. With more experience, the young practitioner realizes the concern of unopposed estrogen therapy in patients with a history of endometriosis (i.e., cancer).

Now, in this excellent discussion by Dr. Farr Nezhat, for the current edition of the Master Class in Gynecologic Surgery, he describes the risk of endometriosis and ovarian cancer. Not only does Dr. Nezhat present data revealing the increased association between ovarian cancer and endometriosis, but he goes on to describe the usual type of epithelial ovarian cancer that is noted in the patient with endometriosis.

Dr. Charles E. Miller

Dr. Charles E. Miller

Dr. Nezhat describes women who appear to be predisposed to malignant transformation and provides current recommendations to lower the risk of malignancy in patients with endometriosis. This includes complete surgical resection of endometriosis, routine ultrasound/MRI if endometriosis is not resected, suppressive hormonal therapy, and bilateral salpingectomy. Moreover, Dr. Nezhat looks to the future and the possibility of genetic screening tests.

Dr. Nezhat is board certified in gynecologic oncology and is world renowned for his work with advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery for the treatment of gynecologic cancers and complex benign conditions. He is the director of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and robotics at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., and an adjunct professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive medicine at State University of New York at Stony Brook.

His main areas of interest and research include early detection and treatment of early and advanced ovarian cancer, as well as cancer arising in endometriosis. Dr. Nezhat has authored and coauthored more than 200 medical and scientific manuscripts and book chapters.

Dr. Miller is a clinical associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a past president of the AAGL and the International Society for Gynecologic Endoscopy (ISGE). He is a reproductive endocrinologist and minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon in private practice in Naperville and Schaumburg, Ill.; director of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and the director of the AAGL/Society of Reproductive Surgery fellowship in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill.; and the medical editor of this column, Master Class. Dr. Miller reported having no financial disclosures relevant to this column.

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