Can we really prevent ovarian cancer?

College of DuPage Nursing Student Kelia Zanko wrote for Healthy Lombard that being a Cancer patient can be one of the hardest things someone can go through. No one wants to be in that position of finding out that you have cancer, especially Ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers in terms of death rate. The reason behind it is that it doesn’t get diagnosed until later stages. It usually happens to women between the age of 50 and 60, but it can also happen to women as young as 20 years old. There is always a fear that it might happen to you and it might be too late. Cancer survivors that have had cervical or breast cancer are in greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. According to a Mayo Clinic post about Ovarian Cancer (Dec. 13, 2018), some of the risk factors developing ovarian cancer, are older age, having BRCA1 and BRCA 2 gene mutated, having a family history of ovarian cancer, long term use of estrogen replacement therapy, having an early menstruation and a late menopause.

American Cancer Society has developed some prevention strategies for women who are at risk for ovarian cancer. (April 11, 2018)

  • Staying at a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet.
  • Not taking hormone replacement therapy after menopause.
  • Using oral contraceptives can reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer in women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes mutated.
  • Gynecologic surgery. If you are at great risk of developing ovarian cancer, the doctors may consider having both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. This can be very hard especially for women at childbearing age.
  • Genetic consultation. If you have family members that had ovarian cancer, or BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes mutated, it is better to get a genetic consultation. Sometimes may be a relief to find out that you are at low risk of developing cancer. Other times you can find that you are at high risk and can take precautions early and, suggesting screening for other family members for early prevention and detection of cancer.

Either you are at risk of developing ovarian cancer, or you know someone at risk, it is always good to know and to take precautions, as well as spreading awareness to other people as well.

Mayo Clinic (December 13, 2018). Ovarian Cancer. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20375941

American Cancer Society (April 11, 2018). Can Ovarian Cancer be prevented? Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html

 

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