Endometriosis is a chronically painful disease which causes cells from the womb lining to grow outside the womb. It affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age globally – that is around 1.5 million women in the UK alone – and causes severe pelvic pain and affects a woman’s fertility.
It is as common as diabetes among women and yet very little is known about the disease, meaning that women suffer on average for 7.5 years before they are diagnosed.
Endometriosis costs the UK £8.2 billion in NHS budget and lost income. Many women are forced to leave work, because they are in constant pain and there is an urgent need for new treatments to end the suffering and distress of women with this condition.
Wellbeing of Women is funding Professor Andrew Horne, at the University of Edinburgh, to build on successful research previously funded by us which discovered that endometriosis cells behave in a similar way to cancer cells.
Professor Horne believes that anticancer drugs administered in small doses could be used effectively in treating endometriosis. This could lead to the use of anticancer drugs, already known to be safe, to halt the growth of endometriosis and reduce endometriosis-associated pain.
Professor Horne spoke to our friends at MyBaba: