Women diagnosed with an endometrial cancer that is not treatable have a 20% chance of developing dementia, a new study has found.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at more than 1,600 women diagnosed with the cancer in the United States between 1999 and 2011.
It found that about half of the women had symptoms of endometrium cancer, a type of abnormal growth of the lining of the uterus.
The study authors said these symptoms are associated with dementia.
The results suggest that women with end-stage disease who are treated with anti-fibroblast therapies may be more likely to develop dementia.
It was a surprising finding, said Dr Peter Cramer, a clinical endocrinologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
He said it was hard to say why these women might be more vulnerable.
“This study is a very strong, strong signal that there may be something else going on that makes these women more at risk,” he said.
The results are not necessarily surprising, Dr Cramer said.
He added that a large proportion of women with the disease also had co-morbid conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and hypertension.
“These women are probably going to be more susceptible to the other problems that may be associated with this disease, and they may also have a higher risk of developing these other conditions,” he explained.
The findings come as the American Cancer Society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the National Institutes of Health are launching a national campaign to find treatments that will slow the progression of end-of-life conditions such the disease.
The American Cancer Association is also calling on people to speak out about endometria cancer and to help find a cure.
“It is important to remember that we are a society of survivors and that there are survivors out there with these endometritis problems,” Dr Cramers told AAP.
“The fact that women can live long lives, that they are able to get well and have a healthy family life and have kids and enjoy their lives and have healthy relationships should be celebrated.”
There are a lot of people out there who are suffering and struggling to live long and be healthy,” he added.
The American Endometrial Cancer Association recommends women with cancer to have regular check-ups.