About 21,290 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. More than 14,100 women die from it annually.
What puts you at higher risk of ovarian cancer?
- Ovaries are part of the female reproductive anatomy, so only females are affected
- Having a close relative with ovarian cancer
- Inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes
- Having certain inherited cancer syndromes
- Having hormone replacement therapy after menopause
- Being tall (5’8” or taller)
How can you lower your risk for developing ovarian cancer?
- Get at least 45 minutes of physical activity/exercise 5 days per week
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- Avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy
- Take birth control pills
- Breastfeed your children
- Talk to your doctor about having surgery to tie your fallopian tubes closed or to remove your ovaries and fallopian tubes if you’re at high risk
How can you help ensure early detection for more effective treatment?
- Have regular pelvic exams by your gynecologist
- Mention signs and symptoms to your doctor right away; some common ones include abdominal or pelvic pain or discomfort, bloating, feeling full quickly, having to urinate urgently or frequently, fatigue, back pain, pain during sexual intercourse, menstrual changes, and constipation or other bowel changes
Check out these useful resources about ovarian cancer prevention: