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Ovarian cancer
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Ovarian cancer

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From MayoClinic.com


Several factors appear to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. They include:

  • Oral contraception (birth control pills). The use of oral contraceptives can decrease a woman's risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 60 percent. Usage should total at least 5 years and does not have to be continuous.

  • Breast-feeding and pregnancy. Giving birth to one or more children, particularly if the first child was born before you reached age 30, and breast-feeding may decrease your risk of developing ovarian cancer.

  • Undergoing a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Depending on your condition, the surgery may also involve removal of organs and tissue in addition to the uterus. Doctors caution that a woman should not have a hysterectomy just to avoid ovarian cancer risk. But if you're having a hysterectomy for valid medical reasons, have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer and are older than 40, you may want to talk with your doctor about ovary removal.

  • Tubal ligation. In this surgical procedure, the fallopian tubes are tied to prevent pregnancy. Tubal ligation doesn't prevent all or even most cases of ovarian cancer. It shouldn't be done solely to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

Prophylactic oophorectomy reduces, but doesn't completely eliminate, ovarian cancer risk. Although removing the ovaries is generally quite protective, it doesn't prevent all cases of malignancy. Because ovarian cancer usually develops in the thin lining of the abdominal cavity that covers the ovaries, women who have had their ovaries removed can still get a similar but less common form of cancer called primary peritoneal cancer. This type of cancer develops similar to ovarian cancer and accounts for a small percentage of all cases of ovarian cancer.

In addition, prophylactic oophorectomy is controversial because it induces early menopause and may have a substantial negative impact your quality of life. If you're considering having this procedure done, be sure to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor.


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