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Diseases » Ovarian Cancer » Risk Factors
 

Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

List of Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

The list of risk factors mentioned for Ovarian Cancer in various sources includes:

Protective factors:

Certain factors have been mentioned as lowering the risk of Ovarian Cancer including:

Risk factors discussion:

Ovarian Cancer: NWHIC (Excerpt)

The causes of ovarian cancer are unknown. The disease tends to be more common in women from western industrialized countries, especially white women, who have had no full-term pregnancies. There also have been noted associations with exposure to talc or asbestos. In addition, there is an association with infertility.

It appears that factors that decrease ovulation have been associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer in the general population. Women who have had multiple pregnancies or who have breast-fed have fewer ovulations and have been noted to have a decrease in the occurrence of ovarian cancer. The use of oral contraceptives has also been associated with a decrease in the development of ovarian cancer. The protection provided by oral contraceptives appears to be real and increases as the duration of the pill use increases. A risk reduction of up to 60% may occur when oral contraceptives are used for longer than five years. Recent studies have noted that there is a decreased incidence of ovarian cancer in women with a history of tubal ligation. The mechanism of this is unclear. The use of powders containing talc should be avoided on the external female genitals. (Source: excerpt from Ovarian Cancer: NWHIC)

Ovarian Cancer: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Generally, the risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as the number of family members affected by ovarian cancer increases. Having a first-degree relative affected by ovarian cancer (for example, a mother or a sister) increases a woman’s lifetime risk from 1.4% to 3.1%. Those at greatest risk for inherited genetic susceptibility have a personal or family history of ovarian and/or breast cancer. Histories that include cancers with early age of onset, multiple primary (new) cancers and Jewish ancestry reflect greater risk. (Source: excerpt from Ovarian Cancer: NWHIC)

What You Need To Know About Cancer -- An Overview: NCI (Excerpt)

Being seriously overweight may be linked to breast cancer among older women and to cancers of the prostate, pancreas, uterus, colon, and ovary. On the other hand, some studies suggest that foods containing fiber and certain nutrients may help protect against some types of cancer. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Cancer -- An Overview: NCI)

What You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer: NCI (Excerpt)

However, studies show that the following factors may increase the chance of developing this disease:

  • Family history. First-degree relatives (mother, daughter, sister) of a woman who has had ovarian cancer are at increased risk of developing this type of cancer themselves. The likelihood is especially high if two or more first-degree relatives have had the disease. The risk is somewhat less, but still above average, if other relatives (grandmother, aunt, cousin) have had ovarian cancer. A family history of breast or colon cancer is also associated with an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

  • Age. 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.

  • Childbearing. 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.

  • Personal history. Women who have had breast or colon cancer may have a greater chance of developing ovarian cancer than women who have not had breast or colon cancer.

  • Fertility drugs . Drugs that cause a woman to ovulate may slightly increase a woman's chance of developing ovarian cancer. Researchers are studying this possible association.

  • Talc. Some studies suggest that women who have used talc in the genital area for many years may be at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Some evidence suggests that women who use HRT after menopause may have a slightly increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

(Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer: NCI)

Risks factors for Ovarian Cancer: medical news summaries:

The following medical news items are relevant to risk factors for Ovarian Cancer:

About risk factors:

Risk factors for Ovarian Cancer are factors that do not seem to be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some way. Having a risk factor for Ovarian Cancer makes the chances of getting a condition higher but does not always lead to Ovarian Cancer. Also, the absence of any risk factors or having a protective factor does not necessarily guard you against getting Ovarian Cancer. For general information and a list of risk factors, see the risk center.

 

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