Ovarian cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer that affects women every year. The cancer cells grow mainly in the ovaries which are the egg producing glands in the female reproductive system. Found mostly in older women who have undergone menopause, the disease is easily confused with other diseases. The danger with this disease is the tendency of the cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body and affect them. It is also dangerous because only the early diagnosis of the disease could further the cause of treatment. As time passes by, treatment options are diminished and survival chances become dim.
The exact cause of the ovarian cancer is still unknown although research studies have put together a string of causes that could be said to result in the growth of cancerous cells in the ovaries. Age is considered a very important factor as majority of the ovarian cancer cases have been found in women in their later fifties and early sixties, although hereditary cancer could be found earlier as well.
Ovarian cancers are also the result of genetic disorders and thus account hereditary factors are significant too. So if a woman’s close family member is found to have ovarian cancer, chances are the woman could also be diagnosed with the disease at a certain age.
Another factor, though not as significant as age or family hereditary syndromes, is the menstrual cycle of the woman. If the woman has undergone quite a lot of menstrual cycles in her lifetime and has been unable to give birth to a child, chances are that the woman could be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at a certain time in her life. Women who have gone through a late menopause and have not stopped ovulating are considered to be at a greater risk of getting affected by the disease.
Another factor that has been suggested as a risk for being affected by ovarian cancer is a diet rich in animal fat. This, however is not backed by research and therefore, cannot be stated as a significant cause of ovarian cancer in women.
Women who have given birth have been found to have lesser chances of getting affected by the disease than those who have not been pregnant. Hysterectomy and tubal litigation also reduces the risk of ovarian cancer in women. If a woman has her ovaries and the fallopian tubes surgically removed, the resultant lack of production of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone eliminates the chances of not only ovarian cancer, but also breast cancer. Use of drugs has also been linked to the development of ovarian cancer.
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