The US National Institutes of Health has found a link between ovarian cancer and ovarian follicular hyperplasia, a type of ovarian cancer that can cause ovarian tissue to fail and fall off.
The findings, published online by The Lancet, also suggest that ovarian cancer is linked to infertility in women with ovarian disease.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Mark E. Wilson, said in a statement the findings are an important step in understanding the link between infertility and ovarian cancer.
“Fertility is the lifeblood of our society, and we know that infertility can have profound impact on the health of the individual and on society,” Wilson said.
“We know that when ovarian cancer patients have more ovarian cancer, their risk of developing ovarian cancer increases.”
Dr. Richard H. Foshee, a co-author of the study, told the BBC that the link was “not just a relationship between ovarian and ovarian tissue failure” but could also help doctors better understand the causes of ovarian cell death.
“This study suggests that ovarian follicles are a major cause of ovarian failure, and that these follicles may be a primary cause of infertility,” he said.
Wilson told the Associated Press that the study is an “interesting study.”
“It suggests that this might be an important pathway that leads to ovarian cancer,” he added.
The American Association of Fertility Professionals and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine strongly oppose any type of treatment involving fertilized eggs and eggs derived from animals, saying the treatment is inappropriate and harmful.
The groups say that the fertilized egg, which can be stored in the uterus, is a viable source of eggs and is therefore “not medically necessary.”