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How do I avoid ovarian cancer?

By Anonymous October 16, 2014 - 9:28pm
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Are there things I can do to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer? Some blogs say breastfeeding and taking the pill -- can that be right?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question! 

There are no guidelines for preventing ovarian cancer because the cause is unknown. Symptoms also are not present in the early stages. If you think you are at risk for ovarian cancer, talk to your doctor. Schedule check-ups with your doctor if needed. All women should have regular physical exams. These should include vaginal exams and palpation of the ovaries.

Knowing your risk factors is very important, Anon. 

Factors that increase your chance for ovarian cancer include:

  • Family history of ovarian cancer, especially in mother, sister, or daughter
  • Age: 50 or older
  • Menstrual history—first period before age 12, no childbirth or first childbirth after age 30, and late menopause
  • Personal history of breast cancer or colon cancer
  • Certain gene mutations, including BRCA1, BRCA2


Use of birth control pills for more than five years appears to decrease risk.

An unhealthy diet, smoking and lack of exercise also raise the risk of ovarian cancer so leading a healthy lifestyle is a way to actively lower your risk. Women who have had children are also less likely to have ovarian cancer. 

Here is a recent article that can help more: 


Has this helped, Anon?



October 17, 2014 - 6:07am
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