Wednesday January 29, 2020

PTSD, Reason Behind Increased Ovarian Cancer

Women who experienced six or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in life have a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer

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Cancer, cells, metabolism, research, treatment, science
the workings of a metabolic pathway or "gauge" that lets cancer cells detect when they have enough nutrients around them to grow.. Pixabay

Women who experienced six or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in life have a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to women who never had any PTSDs, says a new study.

The study published in the journal Cancer Research, also found that the link between PTSD and ovarian cancer remained for the most aggressive forms of ovarian cancer.

“In light of these findings, we need to understand whether successful treatment of PTSD would reduce this risk and whether other types of stress are also risk factors for ovarian cancer,” said co-author Andrea Roberts from Harvard University.

To better understand how PTSD may influence ovarian cancer risk, researchers analysed data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, which tracked the health of tens of thousands of women between 1989-2015 through biennial questionnaires and medical records.

PTSD, Ovarian cancer, cancer, women, risk
Aspirin may lower risk of ovarian cancer as well. Pixabay

Participants were asked about ovarian cancer diagnosis in each questionnaire, and information was validated through a review of medical records.

In 2008, 54,763 Nurses’ Health Study II participants responded to a supplemental questionnaire focused on lifetime traumatic events and symptoms associated with those events.

Women were asked to identify the event they considered the most stressful, and the year of this event. They were also asked about seven PTSD symptoms they may have experienced related to the most stressful event.

Based on the responses, women were divided into six groups: no trauma exposure; trauma and no PTSD symptoms; trauma and one to three symptoms; trauma and four and five symptoms; trauma and six-seven symptoms; and trauma, but PTSD symptoms unknown.

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After adjusting for various factors associated with ovarian cancer, including oral contraceptive use and smoking, the researchers found that women who experienced six-seven symptoms associated with PTSD were at a significantly higher risk of ovarian cancer than women who had never been exposed to trauma.

Women with trauma and four-five symptoms were also at an elevated risk, but the risk did not reach statistical significance.

The study also showed that women who experienced six-seven symptoms associated with PTSD were at a significantly higher risk of developing the high-grade serous histotype of ovarian cancer — the most common and aggressive form of the disease. (IANS)

Next Story

Patients May Suffer Invasive Treatments for Harmless Cancers: Researchers

According to the researchers, It is the first time that the risk of overdiagnosis has been quantified across five cancers, anywhere in the world

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A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that Australians are increasingly being diagnosed with potentially harmless cancers, which if left undetected or untreated, may expose them to unnecessary surgeries and chemotherapy.

The research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, drew on data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to compare how the lifetime risk of five cancers had changed between 1982 and 2012.

The study shows compared to 30 years ago, Australians are much more likely to experience a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.

“Cancer treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy, endocrine and chemotherapy carry risks of physical harms,” said the study authors from Bond University, University of Sydney and Griffith University in Australia.

“In the absence of overdiagnosis, these harms are generally considered acceptable. In the context of overdiagnosed cancers, however, affected individuals cannot benefit but can only be harmed by these treatments,” authors added.

The figures suggest that in 2012 24 per cent of cancers or carcinomas in men were overdiagnosed. These included 42 per cent of prostate cancers, 42 per cent of renal cancers, 73 per cent of thyroid cancers and 58 per cent of melanomas.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

For women, 18 per cent of cancers or carcinomas were overdiagnosed, including 22 per cent of breast cancers, 58 per cent of renal cancers, 73 per cent of thyroid cancers and 58 per cent of melanomas.

The figures are significant because of the harm that can occur from cancer treatment of patients who would never have had symptoms in their lifetime.

The authors also refer to separate studies showing overdiagnosis could be linked to psychological problems.

“For example, men’s risk of suicide appears to increase in the year after receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis,” researchers said.

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According to the researchers, It is the first time that the risk of overdiagnosis has been quantified across five cancers, anywhere in the world.”

The findings also suggest an important role for health services such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in detecting potential overdiagnosis and alerting health policy decision makers to the problem early on. (IANS)