Are You at Risk For Ovarian Cancer?

Female stomach area

Symptoms

The following list of symptoms can be caused by many things other than ovarian cancer, however, if they happen on a daily basis for more than several weeks then you should contact your doctor.

  • Bloating or pressure in the stomach area
  • Abdominal pain or pain in the pelvis
  • Feeling abnormally full while eating
  • More frequent urination

Risk Factors

Age, family history, and obesity are all noted risk factors of ovarian cancer. A woman’s chances of developing cancer are much higher if a close relative has a history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer. According to WebMD, researchers have found that “genetic changes account for 10% of ovarian cancers.” If you have a family history involving cancer, it would be a good idea to speak to your doctor about more frequent check-ups.

The highest risk factor for getting ovarian cancer is age. Women who are post-menopausal are at higher risk, while postmenopausal hormone therapy also increases this risk. WebMD says that the link between ovarian cancer and women who take estrogen without progesterone for more than five years seems to be the strongest.

The death rates for obese women with ovarian cancer are higher and the overall risk for developing ovarian cancer is higher in obese women, compared to non-obese women.

What You Can Do

Ultrasound or CT scans can reveal an ovarian mass, however, these imaging tests cannot tell if the mass is cancerous or not. If cancer is suspected then normally a surgery is performed to remove some of these tissues. The samples are then sent to a lab where a biopsy is performed for further examination.  

Ovarian cancer is less common in women who take birth control pills, women who have their own children, women who have had their tubes tied or their ovaries removed, and women who eat a low-fat diet.

 

Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.

Story Credit

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Beth Phillips

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