For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

World Health Day: Common Causes Of Ovarian Cancer That You Need To Know

By Sravia Sivaram

As the name suggests, ovarian cancer forms in the ovaries. The cancer develops when the genes that are responsible for cell growth mutate and grow abnormally. These cells begin to multiply at a rapid rate and therefore form a tumour.

If not treated early, then this cancer can spread to the other parts of the body. Ovarian cancer has the ability to spread outside of your ovaries, that is, to the reproductive organs and beyond.

The real reason that causes the mutations is unknown, but there are certain risk factors that can actually lead to this. Genetics, personal medical history, reproductive history, age, ethnicity, diet and body size are some of the factors that actually decide the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Your personal medical history also plays a major role in deciding the level of risk. Did you know that having a personal or family history of breast cancer can also increase the risk of ovarian cancer?

Your risk of ovarian cancer also increases with age. You are more likely to develop ovarian cancer after menopause. Apart from these factors, there are certain common habits that can actually increase the risk of a woman developing ovarian cancer.

This article has listed out some of the common causes that can lead to the occurrence of ovarian cancer. Continue reading to find out about the causes for ovarian cancer.


1. Family History:

Those women with close relatives who have had ovarian cancer or breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to other women.


2. Age:

Majority of the cases of ovarian cancer occur in women who are over the age of 65 years.


3. High Number Of Total Lifetime Ovulation:

The more the number of times a woman has become pregnant, the lower her risk is of getting ovarian cancer.


5. HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy):

This increases the risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Experts say that the risk increases as long as the treatment continues. It has been found that ovarian cancer risk is higher in current users of HRT and this falls after the treatment stops.


6. Obesity:

Being obese or overweight also increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer.


7. Endometriosis:

Women who develop this condition have a 30% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer when compared to other women.


8. Inherited Genetic Mutations:

Mutations in the genes as well as the genes related to other family cancer syndromes is linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.


9. Acquired Genetic Changes:

Most of the DNA mutations related to ovarian cancer are not inherited but instead occur during a woman's life. As per research studies, it has been found that most ovarian cancers have acquired gene mutations in them.


10. Androgens:

These are male hormones. Danazol, a drug that is known to increase androgen levels was linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. It was found that women who took medications (containing male hormone) were found to have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.

Story first published: Thursday, April 6, 2017, 10:39 [IST]