Department of Economics and Business Economics

Risk of epithelial ovarian cancer among women with benign ovarian tumors: a follow-up study

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Sonia Guleria, Virus, Lifestyle and Genes, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address:
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  • Allan Jensen, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Virus, Lifestyle and Genes, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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  • Anita Toender, iPSYCH, Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Lundbeck Fdn Initiat Integrat Psychiat Res
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  • Susanne K Kjaer, University of Copenhagen

PURPOSE: The importance of benign ovarian tumors as precursors or risk markers for ovarian cancer is not fully understood. Studies on the association between benign ovarian tumors and ovarian cancer have provided inconclusive results. We examined the overall and histological type-specific risk of ovarian cancer among 158,221 Danish women diagnosed with a benign ovarian tumor during 1978-2016.

METHODS: The study cohort was linked to the Danish Cancer Register to identify all cases of epithelial ovarian cancer, and standardized incidence ratios (SIR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.

RESULTS: After excluding the first year of follow-up, women with benign ovarian tumors did not have an increased risk for overall epithelial ovarian cancer (SIR 1.02; 95% CI 0.93-1.11), as compared with women in the general population. However, we found an increased risk for mucinous ovarian cancer (SIR 2.06; 95% CI 1.67-2.52); both solid and cystic benign ovarian tumors were associated with an increased risk. The risk for mucinous ovarian cancer was increased irrespective of the age at benign ovarian tumors diagnosis and persisted for up to 20 years after the benign ovarian tumor diagnosis. No clear associations for other histological types of ovarian cancer were observed, except for an increased risk for serous ovarian cancer among women diagnosed with benign ovarian tumors at an young age.

CONCLUSIONS: Benign ovarian tumors may be associated with long-term increased risk for mucinous ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer causes & control : CCC
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • Benign ovarian tumors, Cohort study, Denmark, Ovarian cancer, Ovarian cysts

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