Health Blogs

Can Ovarian Cancer Be Prevented?

Although there is no proven way to prevent these diseases completely, you may be able to lower your risk. Studies  has shown that certain factors may reduce a woman’s risk of developing ovarian/fallopian tube cancer. Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that affects females.

It is the name for a number of cancers that can develop in the ovaries, the organs that store eggs and are connected to the womb. The symptoms of ovarian cancer may be mistaken for other conditions, leading to late diagnosis of the disease. A number of general and more specific strategies can be used to help decrease the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer. The risk of developing ovarian cancer is very high in women who have mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes and more other risk factors. However if mutations are detected through genetic testing before the cancer develops, ovarian cancer can be prevented by surgically removing the ovaries and fallopian tubes in a procedure known  risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy. After this relatively simple surgery, the risk of ovarian cancer in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations decreases to approximately the same level as women without mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. In addition to ovarian cancer, women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations are at an increased risk for breast cancer (up to 70% lifetime risk). If risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy is performed prior to menopause, the risk for breast cancer is decreased by 50% .As with most cancers the risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as a woman gets older. Women over the age of 50 have a higher risk, and most cases of ovarian cancer occur in women who have already gone through the menopause. More than half the cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed are women over 65 years. In general, cancer begins when a cell develops errors (mutations) in its DNA.