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Thursday, Apr 15th

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Home Cancer Ovarian Cancer Ovarian Cancer Causes and Prevention

Ovarian Cancer Causes and Prevention

  • Women who use Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause may have a slightly increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
  • The likelihood of developing ovarian cancer increases as a woman gets older. Most ovarian cancers occur in women over the age of 50, with the highest risk in women over 60.
  • Increased hormone levels before and during ovulation may stimulate the growth of abnormal cells, causing ovarian cancer.
  • Most ovarian cancers are due to gene changes that develop during a woman’s life and are not inherited. But about 1 in 10 ovarian cancers (10%) are caused by an inherited faulty gene. Faulty inherited genes increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Women who have had breast cancer have double the risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to other women in the population, and if their breast cancer was diagnosed before the age of 40, their risk is almost four times higher. Breast cancer could be due to a faulty gene and the same gene fault could cause ovarian cancer.
  • Infertility increases ovarian cancer risk, rather than fertility treatment being the cause.
  • If you are obese or overweight for your height, then you face a risk of ovarian cancer. The analysis found that the risk of ovarian cancer was higher in premenopausal women with a BMI over 30, but there was no effect in postmenopausal women. Taller women had a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer risk exists in current smokers. But the risk goes down to normal some time after stopping smoking.
  • Women who are admitted to hospital for ovarian cysts before the age of 29 has double the risk of ovarian cancer later in life. Women who had removal of an ovary or other surgery to treat their cysts had an almost nine times increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Women who have never had children are more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who have had children. In fact, the more children a woman has had, the less likely she is to develop ovarian cancer.
Prevention of Ovarian Cancer
At present, there is no known method to prevent ovarian cancer, but some things appear to reduce a woman’s risk of developing the disease. They include:

Oral contraception
Use of oral contraceptives for a total of five years (does not have to be continuous) can decrease the risk by as much as 60 per cent.

Breast–feeding and pregnancy
Having one or more children, particularly if the first is born before age 30, plus breast feeding, may decrease a woman’s risk.

A woman should not have a hysterectomy exclusively to avoid ovarian cancer risk, but if one is being performed for valid medical reasons and she has a family history of ovarian or breast cancer or is over age 40, she should discuss concurrent ovary removal with her physician.


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