A cancer risk factor is anything that increases your chance of developing a disease like ovarian cancer. But the presence of risk factors does not guarantee that you’ll develop cancer – ovarian or any other type – during your lifetime. For instance, some women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer have no known risk factors, while others who do have high-risk factors won’t get ovarian cancer at all. With that said, it is important to be aware of the factors that could increase your risk of ovarian cancer and what you can do to help lower your risks.
There are a variety of factors that can increase your risk of ovarian cancer. Most of these risk factors can’t be controlled; however, those factors that involve personal lifestyle choices can be changed.
Common risk factors for ovarian cancer can include:
While there is no guarantee that any woman won’t get ovarian cancer, there are steps that can be taken to help reduce any risk factors that can be avoided.
Different prevention methods may include:
Keep in mind that genetic testing and preventive gynecological surgery (called prophylactic BSO) are only recommended for patients who have a strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer. The decision to undergo either comes down to a personal choice only you can make. If you are in the Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA areas, you can contact Compass Oncology to set-up a personalized genetic risk evaluation. Genetic counselors are also available to help answer any questions you have and determine if you would be a good candidate for genetic testing or surgery.