Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors

Ovarian cancer is multifactorial disease; it is not attributable to a unique factor but many; the most common include:

  • Ethnicity – cancer of the ovary is more common in certain ethnic groups, especially among Ashkenazi Jews (those of Eastern European descent).
  • Inherited gene mutations – research in Obstetrics and Gynecology have discovered two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, which may be responsible for the occurrence of a form of ovarian cancer called hereditary ovarian cancer.
  • Absence of pregnancy – if you never been pregnant, you are at Increased risk of becoming an ovarian cancer victim.
  • Age – ovarian cancer occurs mostly after menopause, it does not mean that if you are a premenopausal woman you cannot have the disease.
  • Obesity – if you are obese, you are ata greater risk of ovarian cancer than women who are not.
  • History of certain Caners – if you have a personal history of breast cancer, cancer of the uterus or colorectal cancer, your risk of developing ovarian cancer is higher comparably to other women.
  • Family history – if you have family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer, you are at higher risk comparably to women do not; in fact your risk of ovarian cancer increases by 10 to 15 percent, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – use of menopausal hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen only slightly increases your risk of ovarian cancer. The risk is even higher if you take the therapy for more than five years.
  • Infertility – if you have never been able to carry a pregnancy to full term, you are at higher risk of ovarian cancer. In addition, certain medications such as clomiphene (Clomid, Serophene), used in the treatment of infertility, has been suspected as carcinogenic, but this theory has not been fully confirmed by the medical elite.
  • Medications – a synthetic steroid derived from ethisterone called danazol, used to treat endometriosis and for the prevention of attacks of angioedema, is suspected to be linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer; however, more studies are needed to confirm this.

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