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What Are the Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer?

The exact cause of ovarian cancer is yet to be known. That said, there are risk factors to watch out for. The question is, what are the risk factors of ovarian cancer? If you want to learn more, read on then. Here, we explain what risk factor is and the risk factors of ovarian cancer.

What Are the Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer?

 
What Is Risk Factor?

A risk factor is anything that increases your likelihood of getting a disease, like cancer for example. Some risk factors, like family history or an individual’s age, cannot be changed. Some others, like smoking, can be changed.

What you need to keep in mind is that having a risk factor, or even many of them, doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the disease. Conversely, people who may not have any known risk factors can still get the disease.

What Are the Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer?

Alright, so what are the risk factors of ovarian cancer? The followings are some risk factors that can increase a woman’s likelihood of getting ovarian cancer.
 
  1. Getting older
    Aging is linked with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. It is true that ovarian cancer can develop at any age, but cases for women under 40 are rare. Most ovarian cancer develops post-menopause with the average age of diagnosis being 64.

  2. Being overweight or obese
    Being overweight or obese is a risk factor as well. Obesity has been linked to an increased likelihood of women developing ovarian cancer. Not only it is a risk factor, but obesity may also have negative effects on the overall survival of the patient.

  3. Having a family history of ovarian cancer
    Since ovarian cancer can run in families, a woman has an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer if she has a family member (daughter, sister, or mother) who has or has had ovarian cancer. The more family members with ovarian cancer a woman has, the higher the risk of her developing cancer.

  4. Endometriosis
    Women who have endometriosis also have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

  5. Inherited faulty genes
    Inherited faulty genes are considered the most significant risk factor for ovarian cancer. It is estimated that between 10 and 15% of all ovarian cancers are due to an inherited faulty gene. Faults in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 can increase the risk of ovarian as well as breast cancers.

  6. Childbearing status
    Women who never have a history of pregnancy, have been pregnant but never carry it to full term, as well as having late pregnancy (that is, getting pregnant after age 35) have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Conversely, women who have delivered at least one child have a lower risk of ovarian cancer.

  7. Taking hormone therapy post-menopause
    Women who take hormone therapy after menopause are also at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to those who don’t.

    It should be noted that albeit hormone therapy can increase the risk of ovarian cancer, the risk is small. Hormone therapy is also helpful for a lot of women who have menopausal symptoms.

    If you are considering hormone therapy, talk with your healthcare professionals about the benefits as well as the risks of the therapy.

  8. Age when menstruation started and/or ended
    Women who started menstruation at an early age, women who are starting menopause at a later stage, or women who experienced both may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

What are the risk factors of ovarian cancer? To sum it up, there are various risk factors that can increase your likelihood of getting ovarian cancer. These risk factors include

Having one or even more risk factors doesn’t mean you will get ovarian cancer, however. Likewise, not having any of the risk factors doesn’t mean you cannot get the disease. Still, knowing the risk factors of ovarian cancer can help you to stay vigilant.

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