Irregular menstrual cycles may be an early marker of ovarian cancer risk, according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Diego.
Irregular menstruation and ovarian cancer
- Women with irregular menstruation (cycles longer than 35 days) have a double risk of suffering from this cancer, with a ratio of 2.4. Those who have a relative with first-degree ovarian cancer have an almost three times greater risk of suffering from it and dying from it.
- During the study, 103 women developed ovarian cancer, 65 died from it and 17 of them had irregular menstrual cycles. The median age was around 69 years of death from ovarian cancer. It could not be said that there was a direct relationship between ovarian cancer and irregular periods, but there was a connection between the two.
- The study presents unique but not alarming findings because it is not a causal relationship, because irregular periods are very common in the majority of women and they do not therefore have to suffer or contract ovarian cancer in the future. It also reinforced the benefit of birth control pills in reducing the likelihood of ovarian cancer.