Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer accounts for about 3% of cancers among women, but it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. The American Cancer Society estimates for ovarian cancer in the United States for 2016 are:

  • About 22,280 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
  • About 14,240 women will die from ovarian cancer.


Risk Factors

  • Genetics
  • Family History
  • Increasing Age
  • Reproductive History and Infertility- Research suggests a relationship between the number of menstrual cycles in a woman’s lifetime and her risk of developing ovarian cancer. A woman is at an increased risk if she:
    • started menstruating at an early age (before 12),
    • has not given birth to any children,
    • had her first child after 30,
    • experienced menopause after 50,
    • has never taken oral contraceptives.
    • Infertility, regardless of whether or not a woman uses fertility drugs, also increases the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Obesity

Ways to Reduce Risk Factors

  • Oral Contraceptive Use – The use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) decreases the risk of developing ovarian cancer, especially when used for several years. Women who use oral contraceptives for five or more years have about a 50 percent lower risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who have never used oral contraceptives.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding –Pregnancy and breastfeeding are linked with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, likely because women ovulate less frequently when pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Removal of the Ovaries

Click on the links below for more information Ovarian Cancer:

National organizations:
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Ovarian Cancer Awareness