What PCOS, Infertility and Ovarian Cancer Have In Common

Underling risks in PCOS and Infertility are the disorders of ovulation resulting in too few cycles with healthy ovulation.

Ovarian cancer is a disorder seen more commonly in women who have more than average ovulations: such as women who were never pregnant.

So intuition has told us these disorders may have ‘opposite’ causes. But there is an underlining unifying physiological pathway that can explain PCOS, infertility, and ovarian cancer. That would be disruption of growth factor pathways.

In fact disruption of healthy growth factors, and the promotion of growth factors that lead to unchecked abnormal cell growth probably plays a role in uterine cancer as well.

Growth factors can be expressed in a cell, within cells, and as a serum factor between organs and regulate how our genes are expressed and function.

We need to have healthy cancer fighting mechanisms, as cell changes with time and aging will crop up that, if left unchecked, can lead to a cancer. We have called these ‘gatekeepers’ and ‘caretakers’. In the simplest examples of how we prevent PCOS, infertility, and ovarian cancer, you need one set of genes to keep cells healthy, the other set to keep unhealthy factors away.

Complex yes, and part of keeping this balance is to optimize your hormonal health. Come in for testing, and to discuss whether your hormonal health is optimal.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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