font size

Ovarian Cancer (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What are the risk factors for ovarian cancer?

Risk factors are related to two major categories: menstrual cycles (ovulation) and family history. The more a woman ovulates (cycles) over her lifetime, the higher her risk of ovarian cancer. Thus starting her period (menarche) at a younger age, ending her period (menopause) at a late age, and not getting pregnant (nulliparity) are all risk factors. It was once thought that infertility patients who underwent preparation for IVF (ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization) were at increased risk, but this has since been shown not to be the case in a large comprehensive review of the subject.

Approximately 10% of ovarian cancers are genetically related. Because of this, current guidelines suggest that all women with ovarian cancer should undergo testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene changes (mutations). Lynch syndrome (typically colon and uterine cancer), Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Cowden's syndrome are also associated with ovarian cancer but are less common. All patients with ovarian cancer will ideally discuss this topic with their doctor. These gene mutations can affect males as well as females. If a patient is positive for one of these, then her siblings and her children can be tested as well. Testing involves a simple blood test that can be drawn at many offices and laboratories. The results of this test can greatly affect how family members are monitored for various cancers, and family members of both sexes are encouraged to be tested.

The less common varieties of ovarian cancer (borderline, germ cell, and stromal tumors) have few definable risk factors. The germ cell tumors are often seen in younger age groups, and are treated very differently both surgically and chemotherapeutically.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/24/2013

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Ovarian Cancer - Symptoms Question: For ovarian cancer, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?
Ovarian Cancer - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your ovarian cancer?
Ovarian Cancer - Diagnosis Question: How did your ovarian cancer diagnosis come about?
Ovarian Cancer - Stages Question: What stage was your ovarian cancer when you were diagnosed?
Ovarian Cancer - Prognosis Question: What's the prognosis of your ovarian cancer?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/ovarian_cancer/article.htm

Cancer

Get the latest treatment options.

Ovarian Cancer Related Articles
advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations