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Risks to Avoid Ovarian Cancer

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Risks associated with ovarian cancerKnow the Risks associated with ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries but, like any cancer, it can spread if it is not caught right away.  Ovarian cancer is killing thousands of women a year and there is no treatment that has been proven effective at curing or even putting all diagnosed into remission once the cancer is detected.   Therefore, it is best to do everything possible to understand the risks to avoid ovarian cancer.

How Can I Avoid Ovarian Cancer?

Learning the risks to avoid ovarian cancer isn't as easy as one would hope.  Some women are genetically at risk for ovarian cancer. This isn't to say that if your mother gets it, you are more at risk for it.  Being genetically at risk is about have mutated or altered genes from birth.  Scientists haven't been able to say why some people are born with mutated genes.  Sometimes they point to a parent who smoked, drank or did drugs while pregnant, but this is isn't the case for everyone who is genetically at risk for ovarian cancer.  A woman who is genetically at risk won't absolutely get ovarian cancer, so they should still try to avoid cancer of the ovaries if they can.

There are women who are not genetically at risk for ovarian cancer, but still get it.  There are other things that a woman can control that can decrease their risk of cancer.  One is body weight.  There is a belief that being overweight as a teenager increases the risk of getting ovarian cancer.  Unfortunately, a woman can't turn back the clock and change her eating habits when she was a teenager, but this information is important to share with teenage daughters.  Some doctors believe that a lot of health risks for women are due to an excess of body weight, so a healthy diet as well as a regular exercise program can help in avoiding ovarian cancer.

Some oral contraceptives have been found to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer in women.  They have even been found to decrease the risk in some women that have certain mutated genes.  Oral contraceptives do have risks, including an increased chance of breast cancer.  A woman who is seriously looking to avoid ovarian cancer should talk to her doctor about oral contraceptives.

Age is also a factor that increases ovarian cancer.  How do I avoid ovarian cancer when I can't stop getting older?  That is a question many women ask, because you can't stop the aging process.  As a woman gets older, it is even more important to eat healthy to offset the risk that is caused by age.

A woman who is pregnant or contemplating having children should know that studies have been released, demonstrating that breastfeeding decreases the risk of ovarian cancer.  In fact, studies show that having just one baby decreases the risk of ovarian cancer.  Unfortunately, these studies don't help women who can't have children.

Some women who can't have children or who have a history of ovarian cancer have taken some very drastic steps to avoid cancer of the ovaries.  These women have gotten a hysterectomy or sterilization because both are believed to work in avoiding ovarian cancer or at least decreasing the risk.  Women have even gone as far as to have both ovaries and the fallopian tubes removed, but this isn't a foolproof method of avoiding ovarian cancer.  A woman without her ovaries and fallopian tubes still has a small chance of getting ovarian cancer in the surrounding tissues, but the surgery greatly reduces the chance.

Avoiding ovarian cancer isn't an absolute process.  Women should get regular check-ups to avoid getting ovarian cancer.  Also, take the time to have a serious conversation about ovarian cancer with your doctor.  Doctors are more aware of new risks to avoid ovarian cancer studies, treatments for ovarian cancer and ways of avoiding cancer. So, next time you have a doctor's appointment, ask "How can I avoid ovarian cancer?"

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