What Are The Main Causes Of Ovarian Cancer?

Posted In: Gynecologist & Obstetrician     2018-04-06     22


What is ovarian cancer? – It refers to any cancerous growth in the ovary.

Cancer in the ovary is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women. From all the gynecologic cancers such as the cervix, uterus, and ovaries, ovarian cancer is the leading in death rates.


Signs and symptoms


In the early stages, this condition may show few or no symptoms. These symptoms may be similar to those of other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or a temporary bladder problem.

Some of the common early symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:

  • Back pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain in the pelvis or the lower part of the body
  • Indigestion
  • Rapidly feeling of fullness while eating
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation

As cancer progresses to next stage, the signs include:

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Tiredness


Causes of ovarian cancer


Usually, ovarian cancer takes place when cells start to divide and multiply in an uncontrollable way. However, the exact reason why this happens is not known.

Given below are some of the risk factors that increase the chance of developing the disease:


  • Age – In most of the cases, ovarian cancer occurs after menopause, and especially women who have crossed 63 years.


  • Family history – Women who have close relatives suffered from breast or ovarian cancer are at higher risk f developing ovarian cancer as compared to other women.


  • Birth control pills – Taking a contraceptive pill for a period of 3 to 6 months shows a relatively positive result in reducing the risk. The longer the pill you take, the lower the risk.You can also use an injectable contraceptive hormone such as depot medroxyprogesterone acetone for 3 years or more to reduce further risk.


  • Breast cancer – Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher chance of developing ovarian cancer.


  • Obesity or overweight – Being obese or overweight increase the risk of developing many cancers. Ovarian cancer is common among women who have body mass index of over 30.


  • Reproductive history – Women with one or more full-term pregnancies before the age of 26 years have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also appears to decrease the risk.


  • Hormone therapy – Hormone therapy appears to slightly increase a women’s risk of getting ovarian cancer. The risk tends to increase as longer the hormone therapy continues.


  • Gynecologic surgery – Women who have undergone surgery on the reproductive organs have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.


  • Endometriosis – Women with endometriosis have a nearly 30 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.