Though more is known now than ever before about ovarian cancer, it is still important to educate on its causes and risks. There is no fully known prevention for ovarian cancer, but knowing more about it and what puts you at risk can help to improve your chances of prevention.
What is ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer is the development of abnormal cells in the ovaries that multiply at a faster than average rate and can destroy healthy tissue. Under normal, healthy cell growth, a cell goes through its life cycle and then dies. Sometimes these cells do not die off and, instead, multiply, causing tumors.
What causes ovarian cancer?
The exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown. According to the American Cancer Society, a recent discovery has determined that abnormal cells may develop at the tail ends of the fallopian tubes. This discovery could open up the opportunity for more research and understanding of the causes of ovarian cancer.
Who is at risk for ovarian cancer?
Though the exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown, it is believed that some women may be more at risk for ovarian cancer than others. Doctors find that those with a higher risk for developing ovarian cancer:
- Have other cancers such as breast or uterine cancer
- Have a family history of ovarian cancer
- Are overweight or obese
- Have endometriosis
- Have never been pregnant
- Are older in age
How can ovarian cancer be prevented?
There are many things you can do to help lower your risk for ovarian cancer. Often, these things also contribute to a healthier lifestyle overall and reduce your risk for other health threats and diseases. You can improve your chances of preventing ovarian cancer by:
- Taking oral contraceptives (birth control)
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Exercising regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Have surgery, if needed, to remove some or all of your reproductive organs
- Give birth and breastfeed before the age of 25
You can help maintain your well-being and lower the risk of ovarian cancer is to see your doctor early and often. Talk to one of our doctors here at Lane OB/GYN today to make an appointment for your lifelong health.