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    You are here: Home > Pharmacy News | Health Articles/Tips > General > September 12, 2019

      What you must know about ovarian cancer

      Ovarian cancer is a kind of cancer that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system and are responsible for producing the eggs and also the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

      Three key types of ovarian cancer

      • Epithelial tumors are those that start in the thin layer of tissue that shields the outside of the ovaries. The majority of ovarian cancers, almost 90 percent fall into this.
      • Stromal tumors are those that start in the ovarian tissue where the hormone-producing cells are located.  
      • Germ cell tumors are those that start in the egg-producing cells. These ovarian cancers are quite rare but younger women tend to contract this.


      Risk factors

      Ovarian cancers can occur at any age, however they usually start in women between the ages of 50 to 60. For a small percentage of women, ovarian cancers are caused by gene mutations. A family history of ovarian cancer also ups the risk of incurring it. Long term usage of estrogen hormone replacement therapy in large doses is another risk factor. Menstruating early or reaching menopause late can up the risk as well.

      Stages of ovarian cancer

      Ovarian cancer has four key stages:

      Stage I: Ovarian cancer in one or both ovaries
      Stage II: When it spreads to the uterus or other organs close by
      Stage III: Cancer that has also spread to the lymph nodes or abdominal lining
      Stage IV: Ovarian cancer that has spread to distant organs like the lungs or liver


      There is no 100% sure way to prevent ovarian cancer. However, you could consult your doctor to work on cutting down risk factors. For some, taking oral contraceptives can help. If you have a family history of ovarian cancer, it may be a good idea to do gene testing.  If you find a gene mutation which may up your risk of ovarian cancer, you can think of surgery to remove your ovaries and prevent cancer.


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