Ovarian cancer is a serious disease. If we know the risk factors and causes then we can minimize the risk of ovarian cancer. Heredity also plays a role in ovarian cancer. Know more about the risk factors.
An ovary is a reproductive organ in females which is responsible for the function of producing an egg. Ovarian cancer is a cancer that affects the ovary or ovaries in females. This cancerous cell growth can also spread or enter other parts of the body. The symptoms of this type of cancer are very difficult to detect. Females may experience symptoms like loss of appetite, pelvic pain, bloating, abdominal swelling etc; which can be mistaken for the symptoms of other disorder. Let us take a look at the common cause of ovarian cancer in females.
Is ovarian cancer hereditary?
For a woman with no family history of ovarian cancer, the chances of developing it are 1.4%. However, if one member of the family has been affected, the chances of getting this disease rise to 6%. And if 2 or 3 close relatives have had the disease, the family may be part of the hereditary cancer syndrome.
Is age an important factor?
Although this disease is more common in women over the age of 40 and post-menopausal women, this disease has been known to strike the much younger women also, even 18-year olds.
Does diet play a role?
There does appear to be a link between ovarian cancer and diets that are heavy in saturated fats. If you are in a high-risk category it is advisable to cut down on red meats and dairy products, especially whole fat milk.
Is there a link between fertility drugs and ovarian cancer?
According to research conducted by the University of Washington, women who took the fertility drug 'clomiphene' for a year or longer were 11 times more likely to contract this disease. However, this could also indicate that the infertility itself was a cause of ovarian cancer. Much more research needs to be done in this area in order to draw conclusive links.
Can obesity or being overweight cause ovarian cancer?
Obesity or being overweight is likely to increase the risk of developing various types of cancers and ovarian cancer is one of them. Women having BMI (body mass index) of more than 30 are at higher risk.
Are women coping with breast cancer at risk?
Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are also suspected to have ovarian cancer. Therefore, oophorectomy is suggested as a preventive measure for women who show positive test results for BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.
Can endometriosis increase the risk of ovarian cancer?
Women who cope with endometriosis have a higher risk of getting affected with ovarian cancer as compared to other women.
Are infertile women susceptible to ovarian cancer?
Women who are infertile or those women who have not carried a pregnancy may also be at risk.
How to prevent an ovarian cancer?
There is a certain link between undergoing surgery on reproductive organs and reduced risk of getting affected with ovarian cancer. Surgeries like hysterectomyand tubal ligation are known to reduce the risk. Taking birth control pills for more than 3 to 6 months is also assumed to lower the risk of ovarian cancer. Women who use the contraceptive pills for longer than that are at lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. Use of injectible contraceptive like depot medroxyprogesterone acetate for more than 3 years is also known to reduce the risk.
Following a healthy lifestyle is also very crucial for preventing ovarian cancer. Having a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and staying fit is a must to prevent all kinds of health disorders.
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