Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer


Ovarian Cancer pic

Ovarian Cancer
Image: webmd.com

University of Texas professor Dr. Anil Sood teaches in the gynecologic oncology and reproductive medicine department for the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. An award-winning educator and researcher, Dr. Anil Sood holds several patents for his research.

A woman’s likelihood of developing ovarian cancer stems from environmental and genetic factors. While exposure to some causes can be reduced, women with high-risk profiles should consider screening after the age of 35.

The genetic component of ovarian cancer is linked to an abnormality known as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. This mutation is most commonly found in people of Eastern European or Ashkenazi descent, and 30 percent of women carrying this gene will develop ovarian cancer by the age of 70. Women with a strong family history of genetic cancers can work with a genetic counselor to screen for BRCA mutations.

The environmental risk factors for ovarian cancer are not fully understood. Studies show that exposure to cigarette smoke, certain pesticides, and talc powder may be a risk factor for ovarian cancer. Some of the protective factors include oral contraceptives, and breastfeeding.