Using cervical fluid collected from routine Pap smears, U.S. researchers were able to spot genetic changes caused by both ovarian and endometrial cancers, offering promise for a new kind of screening test for these deadly cancers.
Experts say that although the test has tremendous potential, it is still years from widespread use. But if proven effective with more testing, it would fill a significant void.
Currently, there are no tests that can reliably detect either ovarian or endometrial cancer, which affects the uterine lining. Research teams have been trying for several years to find a screening test that could identify these cancers early, when there is a better chance of a cure.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer), regardless of the presence of most other risk factors, study findings suggest.
“A positive association has been observed in nearly all studies of type 2 diabetes in relation to the incidence of endometrial cancer,” Dr. Babette S. Saltzman, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, and colleagues note in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
“Given the adverse effect of obesity on the incidence of both diabetes and endometrial cancer, investigators have adjusted for obesity in a number of these studies,” they note. “To varying degrees, all found that diabetes was independently associated with endometrial cancer.”