1. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis puts women at 1.9 times higher risk of pancreatic cancer

2. PCOS was an independent risk factor for the development of pancreatic cancer even after adjusting for type 2 diabetes.

Evidence Rating Level: 3 (Average)

Study Rundown: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is positively associated with the development of a variety of carcinogenic processes. Few studies have found an association between PCOS and pancreatic cancer. Risk prediction for pancreatic cancer remains poor and often presents with advanced disease. This study further explored the relationship between PCOS and the risk for pancreatic adenocarcinoma development using data from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Pancreatic Tumor Registry. Data obtained were used to determine associations between PCOS and pancreatic cancer and found that there was a positive association. Adjusting for type 2 diabetes did not significantly alter the results. Limitations to this study include the small sample size and case-control study design. Overall, the results from this study suggest that

Click to read the study in JAMA Oncology

Relevant Reading: Association between polycystic ovary syndrome and cancer risk

In-Depth [case-control study]: This case-control study included data from 655 female patients who were 21 years or older. There were 446 patients in the ‘cases’ group, who had pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and 209 ‘control’ subjects who did not have cancer. Exclusion criteria included a family history of pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis of pancreatitis, or a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed less than 5 years after their PCOS diagnosis. PCOS was found to be positively associated with a risk of pancreatic cancer (odds ratio (OR), 1.88; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-3.46). When adjusting for type 2 diabetes, there was a weaker association (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 0.95-3.34). Estimates were not substantially altered by applying exclusion criteria.

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