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Study Discovers Gene Involved in Ovarian Cancer Risk

By Denise DeWitt HERWriter
 
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study finds gene for increased risk of ovarian cancer
Danila Bolshakov/PhotoSpin

Are you at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer? New research from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center may help answer that question.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic studied the genes of over 16,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, as well as more than 26,000 women without ovarian cancer. The result was the identification of a novel gene which they called HNF1B. This gene is believed to contribute to a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Cancer is a disease that results when cells in the body grow out of control. These cells can often invade other body tissues and can travel through the blood and lymph system to other parts of the body.

The ovaries are organs located in a woman’s pelvis. There is normally one almond-shaped ovary on each side of the uterus. The ovaries are the part of a woman’s reproductive system that produces eggs. Ovaries also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the tissues of a woman’s ovary. Most ovarian cancer begins either in the cells on the surface of the ovary (ovarian epithelial carcinoma) or in the egg cells inside the ovary (malignant germ cell tumors).

Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common type of cancer and is the fifth overall leading cause of death from cancer. The National Cancer Institute (CDC) predicts that in 2013, more than 22,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and over 14,000 women will die from the disease.

The Mayo Clinic study was part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS). COGS researchers combined to simultaneously release 13 different scientific papers documenting the results of the collaborative study which included scientists from North America, Australia, Asia and Europe.

In total 250,000 people were genotyped so their genetic code could be studied as researchers examined how DNA sequences are involved the development of ovarian, breast and prostate cancer. These three cancer types are all considered to be hormone-related.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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