Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that affects the ovaries. It is not usually noticeable until it has spread to the pelvis and abdomen. Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women and fifth leading cause of death. It is difficult to treat and is fatal, but with early detection, ovarian cancer can be treated successfully. There is no specific cause for ovarian cancer. Like any other cancer, it is believed to occur due to mutations in the DNA of the ovarian cells.
The following factors may increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Women of all ages have the risk of getting ovarian cancer. But, as a woman’s age increases the risk of developing cancer also increases. About 68% of women with ovarian cancer are older than 55 years, and 32% are younger than 55.
Women who have a family history of ovarian cancer are at an increased risk of developing the disease. About 10% of cancer cases are associated with family history.
About 10% to 15% of ovarian cancers occur because of a gene mutation that has been passed down within the family. BRCA 1 and BRCA2 are the two genes that help to repair the damage caused to DNA. Mutations in these genes lead to ovarian cancer. Though mutations in these genes are usually associated with breast cancer, they carry a notable lifetime risk of ovarian cancer.
Studies have proved that obese women are at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the inner lining of the woman’s uterus grows outside the uterus, affecting other nearby organs, causing several problems. It is one of the risk factors for ovarian cancer, such as clear cell and endometrioid ovarian cancers.
Women whose menstruation cycle starts before the age of 12 or those who do not reach menopause until after the age of 50 are at a risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Women who have a history of breast or colon cancer are at risk for ovarian cancer.
Conceiving the first child after age 30 or never having a child can increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
There is no sure-fire method for preventing ovarian cancer. Some approaches can reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer. They include:
Ovarian cancer can be treated if it is detected at an early stage. If you have any of the related risk factors which are mentioned above, then immediately seek your doctor’s help. Follow preventive steps and reduce your risk of getting ovarian cancer.
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