Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Linked to Increased Risk of Some Cancer Types

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institue

Prof. Ye

Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Karolinska Institue

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine    disorder affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age. Characterized by hyperandrogenism and metabolic abnormalities, PCOS is known to be related to various long-term health consequences, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer. Besides, inconsistent results have been reported for the associations between PCOS and the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. Studies addressing the risks of other cancers are scarce. Thus, we conducted a large, population-based cohort study with a long follow-up and rather sufficient confounding adjustment to explore the full picture of associations between PCOS and the risks of various cancer types.

We found that PCOS is a risk factor for certain types of cancer, including cancers of the endometrium, ovary, endocrine gland, pancreas, kidney and skeletal & hematopoietic system.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: For patients with PCOS, we should not only pay attention to well-known long-term health consequences such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer, but also keep vigilance on increased risks of other types of cancer as mentioned above. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Further studies are recommended to define the cancer risk pattern among specific PCOS phenotypes more clearly. In addition, basic research is needed to reveal the underlying mechanisms. 


Yin W, Falconer H, Yin L, Xu L, Ye W. Association Between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Cancer Risk. JAMA Oncol. Published online November 29, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.5188

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD