The Link Between Thyroid Disease and Ovarian Cancer

Increased Exposure to Thyroid Hormones Could lead to Ovarian Tumor Progression
Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 4:28pm

Comorbidity is common among cancer patients. As cancer becomes more of a chronic condition, patients are likely to experience at least one additional disease throughout their cancer journey. But some comorbid conditions are more harmful than others.

Data pooled from 11 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium found a link between hyperthyroidism and 5-year survival for ovarian cancer patients. A recent history of hyperthyroidism and overall history of hypothyroidism were associated with worse outcomes for ovarian cancer patients. Exposure to thyroid hormones may interfere with tumor biology and prognosis.

Ovarian cancer patients with a history of thyroid disorders may require a heightened level of coordination to manage their diseases effectively. This combination of ailments could complicate treatment outcomes and decrease survival. Taking thyroid hormones could lead to ovarian tumor progression.

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Assessing thyroid disease or a history of thyroid illness in patients with ovarian cancer may be one of the first steps when coordinating appropriate care.

If you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have a history of thyroid disease, or you are currently using thyroid-stimulating hormones, make sure to tell your doctor before treatment begins. It’s also important to disclose all medical information to ensure the best possible care. Here are a few steps to follow:

  • Know your medical history. Stay informed about your health and your family medical history to reduce your risk for certain diseases.
  • Know what medications and dietary supplements you take. Your doctor needs to know what medications you’re taking, including those prescribed by other doctors and any dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc.)
  • Bring a copy of your medical records. Medical records help your doctor fully understand your health. You can either have these sent before your appointment or you can bring copies with you. You should also bring the results of any imaging studies such as X-rays or MRIs.
  • Be honest with your doctors and don’t leave out any details about your health. Full disclosure is a critical component in the doctor-patient relationship to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment. Make sure to tell your doctor everything you know about your health and lifestyle habits, and any current or past symptoms.