Ovarian cancer is when the cells in the ovaries begin to grow out of control. This cancer usually goes undetected until the cancer cells spread to the abdomen. At this stage, ovarian cancer is challenging to treat. This makes following preventive strategies and regular screening the only way to reduce fatal complications of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancers were previously believed to occur only in the ovaries, but recent studies say that ovarian cancers can start from the fallopian tubes. While there is no proven strategy to prevent ovarian cancer, there are some ways to reduce the chances of getting it. Some risk factors like aging and having a family history cannot be controlled, but at the same time, some risk factors can be controlled to lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
What Can I Do To Reduce the Risk of Developing Ovarian Cancer?
These are some of the things that are associated with a lower chance of developing ovarian cancer.
1) Oral Contraceptives
Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are said to decrease the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Women who have used oral contraceptives for five years or more are at about 50% lower risk than those who have never used them. However, oral contraceptives have some serious side effects. So women considering taking these pills must discuss the risk with their healthcare professional.
2) Hysterectomy and Tubal Ligation
Hysterectomy (the uterus and sometimes cervix is removed surgically) and tubal ligation (a surgical procedure to tie the fallopian tubes) lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer. But health experts say that these surgeries should be exclusively done for valid medical reasons and not just to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
3) Giving Birth
Giving birth to one or more children and particularly giving birth to the first child before the age of 25 may lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Women who breastfeed for a year or more are at a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer.
5) Nutritious Diet and Exercise
According to the American Cancer Society, maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active, and maintaining a balanced diet may modestly reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Though these ways can potentially lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer, there is no proven way to prevent it completely. In addition, these ways are not recommended for everybody as there are risks and benefits associated with each. So if you want to lower the risk of ovarian cancer, you can discuss your options with a specialist online.