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Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer - How to prevent?

There is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer, but the following factors may reduce risk:

  • A healthy lifestyle – a nutritious diet, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Oral contraception – taking birth control pills can lower the risk of ovarian cancer. But this must be balanced against the slight increase in breast cancer risk. Discuss with your doctor if this is suitable for you.
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Tubal ligation or surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) - these procedures are usually performed for medical reasons and not specifically to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Risk-reducing surgery for individuals with breast cancer gene (BRCA) mutations - this involves removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

As some of the above measures involve surgery and may carry serious risks or side effects, they cannot be recommended for every woman. It is best to discuss appropriate ways to reduce your individual risk of ovarian cancer with your doctor.

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