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Cancer Risk Assessment of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. The abnormal growth of cells in the ovary is rapid and can invade and destroy healthy body tissue.

Cancer of the ovary causes more deaths than any other female reproductive cancers. According to a 2018 cancer database estimation, ovarian cancer is the third most common cancer among Indian women.

Recent genome advancements have made it possible for prediction of ovarian cancers and understanding the risk percentage of ovarian cancer by analysing individual’s gene make up and family history.

Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer

Factors that increase the risk of ovarian cancer include:
  • Age: Risk increases with age (rare in women younger than 40; often develops after menopause, over the 63 or above)
  • Obesity
  • Late pregnancy after the age of 35 or in women who never carried a full-term pregnancy
  • Family history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or colorectal cancer
  • Taking hormone therapy after menopause
  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC)
  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC)
  • Genetic syndromes
  • Personal history of breast cancer
  • Assisted reproductive therapies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • History of endometriosis (a condition in which tissue from the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus)
  • Smoking

Common genes responsible for Ovarian Cancers

Some significant for ovarian cancer are inherited gene alterations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in families who have HBOC

Assessment of Ovarian Cancer Risk

Some of the tests to know the possibility of ovarian cancer are:
  1. Personal history of cancer before age 40
  2. Detailed family history to detect the following situations:
    • Family history of ovarian, breast, uterine, or colon cancers
    • A first degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with ovarian cancer
    • Two or more close relatives diagnosed with breast cancer prior to age 50 or with ovarian cancer diagnosed at any age
  3. Relevant genetic tests for chromosomal abnormalities
  4. Imaging tests such as ultrasound of the pelvic region and a blood test (CA-125)

Dizziness or lightheadedness, or unsteadiness

Nausea

Vomiting

Headache

FAQ's :

Inherited risks such as BRAC1, BRCA2, BRIP1, RAD51C, RAD51D, and Lynch syndrome gene mutations are the major risks of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer can run in families. Your risk of ovarian cancer increases if a family member or blood relative has or had a history of ovarian cancer.

Genetic testing can help detect if an individual has potential chances of developing ovarian cancer and take counter measures to prevent the disease or find suitable treatment options. Usually, a blood test is done to see if the individual carries BRCA gene defects.

References:

  1. Ovarian Cancer. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20375941 Accessed on 10-06-2022
  1. What is ovarian cancer? American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/about/what-is-ovarian-cancer.html Accessed on 10-06-2022
  1. Ovarian Cancer. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4447-ovarian-cancer Accessed on 10-06-2022
  1. Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer. Cancer. Net. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/hereditary-breast-and-ovarian-cancer Accessed on 10-06-2022
  1. Can Ovarian Cancer Be Found Early? American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/detection.html Accessed on 10-06-2022
  1. Screening Tests for Ovarian Cancer. Choosing Wisely. https://www.choosingwisely.org/patient-resources/screening-tests-for-ovarian-cancer/ Accessed on 10-06-2022
  1. Ovarian Cancer Screening Guidelines. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types/ovarian/screening/screening-guidelines-ovarian Accessed on 10-06-2022

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