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What Is the Main Cause of Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer happens when cells within the ovary grow out of control and form a tumor. The question is, what is the main cause of ovarian cancer? In this post, we tell you about ovarian cancer, whether its main cause has been identified, and its risk factors.
Ovarian Cancer in Brief

Ovarian cancer is considered a silent killer because it usually causes symptoms when it already reaches a later stage. It can cause symptoms during its early stage, but the symptoms are often.

The most common symptoms of cancer during its early stage are bloating, prolonged pain, a change in bladder function, difficulty eating, and constipation. All of these symptoms can be caused by various diseases other than ovarian cancer, including benign diseases as well as other types of cancer.

These symptoms raise a concern when they are a change from normal, meaning they happen more severely or more often, and persistent or don’t come and go and don’t go away within 1 to 3 weeks.

What Is the Main Cause of Ovarian Cancer?

What Is the Main Cause of Ovarian Cancer?

So, what is the main cause of ovarian cancer? At the moment, the main cause of ovarian cancer has not been identified yet. However, the risk factors that can increase the likelihood of getting the disease have been known.

The risk factors of ovarian cancer include
  • Inherited faulty genes
    Of all risk factors, inherited faulty genes are considered the most significant risk. It is estimated that 10-15% of all ovarian cancer cases are due to an inherited faulty gene. Faults in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 can increase the risk of ovarian as well as breast cancers.

  • Getting older
    Aging is associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer can develop at any age, but cases for women aged 40 or under are rare. Most of the cases develop after menopause with the average age of diagnosis being 64.

  • Being overweight or obese
    Being overweight or obese is a risk factor as well. Obesity has been associated with an increased likelihood of women developing ovarian cancer. Being overweight or obese not only increases the risk of ovarian cancer but also negatively affects the overall survival of the patients.

  • Having a family history of ovarian cancer
    Ovarian cancer is a disease that can run in the family. This is why a woman who has a family member (mother, sister, or daughter) who has or has had ovarian cancer has a higher risk of developing the disease.

    The more family members with ovarian cancer a woman has, the higher the risk of her developing cancer.

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

  • Childbearing status
    The childbearing status of a woman affects her risk of ovarian cancer. Women who never have a history of pregnancy, have been pregnant but never carry it to full term, as well as having late pregnancy have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.

  • Taking hormone replacement therapy post-menopause
    Women who take hormone replacement 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 replacement 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 replacement therapy, talk with your healthcare professionals about the benefits as well as the risks of the therapy.

Although there is no definite answer for the question “What is the main cause of ovarian cancer?” the risk factors are already known. Knowing the risk factors of ovarian cancer can help you to stay vigilant of the disease, especially if you have one or more risk factors.

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