Who is Most at Risk for Ovarian Cancer?
Did you know 1 out of 78 women will have ovarian cancer in their lifetime? This common cancer in women’s health often goes undetected in the early stages but you can help to get ahead of it by understanding the risk factors. Continue reading to find out what all women should know about ovarian cancer.
What is ovarian cancer?
A woman’s reproductive system houses an ovary on each side of the uterus. Ovaries are responsible for producing and storing eggs and make estrogen and progesterone (hormones). Ovarian cancer is defined as a growth of cells that develops within the ovaries.
Types of ovarian cancer include:
Epithelial ovarian cancer – This is the most common type of cancer and occurs in the tissue around the ovaries.
Germ cell tumors – A very rare type of ovarian cancer most often found in younger adults. These can be cancerous or non-cancerous.
Stromal tumors – A rare tumor that can be detected much earlier than other ovarian cancers.
Facts and stats about ovarian cancer:
- Approximately 19,880 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2022.
- Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women.
- Nearly half of all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are at least 63 years old.
- Out of all cancers in the female reproductive system, ovarian cancer contributes to the most fatalities.
Who is at a high risk for ovarian cancer?
- No previous pregnancies
- A family history of ovarian cancer
- Older women
- Inherited gene mutations – BRCA1 and BRCA2 (the same gene related to an increased breast cancer risk)
- Women who are obese or overweight
- Started menstruation early, began menopause late, or both
- Postmenopausal hormonal replacement therapy
Symptoms of ovarian cancer
One of the most important things to understand about ovarian cancer is that it usually does not cause alarming symptoms in the early stages.
Some signs and symptoms that are noticeable can include:
- Pelvic discomfort
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swelling or bloating of the stomach
- Back pain
- Feeling full right after eating
Protect your health
Ovarian cancer is normally treated with chemotherapy and surgery. Although no form of cancer is entirely preventable, there are steps women can take to get ahead of their health and lower their chances of getting ovarian cancer. One of the first methods is to have an annual women’s wellness exam, which serves as a place to discuss your health history, understand your risk of cancers and serious diseases, receive the recommended screenings for your age, and most importantly - address any concerning symptoms you may be experiencing with your trusted provider.
Schedule an appointment for an annual women’s exam by texting your preferred location below:
- West Plano Medical Village: Text (469) 382-4891
- Independence Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3548
- McKinney Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3717
- Frisco Medical Village: Text (469) 382 - 3415
Regardless of the date published, no content on this website should ever be used as a replacement for direct medical advice from your primary care provider or another qualified clinician.