Although Endometriosis affects one out of seven women throughout the world, not much is known about the disease. It occurs when tissue that is usually found inside the uterus appears in other parts of the body. The cause of endometriosis is unknown, though researchers have several theories.
Endometriosis is often compared to cancer since both are characterized by cell invasion and unstrained growth. Other similarities between the two diseases include the development of new blood vessels and the decrease in the number of cells undergoing apoptosis. Doctors have debated since 1925 and researched the idea that endometriosis transforms into cancer without reaching a conclusion.
Recent research has found a possible connection between endometriosis and cancer. It has been found that women suffering from endometriosis are more susceptible to some forms of cancer including ovarian, endocrine, brain and breast cancer. Although doctors agree that this risk exists, further research is still needed since no conclusive proof has been found.
The studies done so far suggested that the cancer risk for women suffering from endometriosis is only slightly higher than average. Also women who had a hysterectomy at or before the time endometriosis was diagnosed did not show increased risk of cancer.
The main difference between endometriosis and cancer, of course, is that endometriosis is not deadly, whereas cancer invariably kills unless treated for life. Endometriosis per se can be very painful, and it can be associated with other conditions, such as problems with the pelvis, but it is not cancer. You can get endometriosis treated with pain management, laparoscopic surgery, and/or hormone treatments.