6 Ways to Prevent Ovarian Cancer

May 7th 2016

Women at risk for ovarian cancer should consult with a physician about their options to reduce risk factors. Healthy lifestyle habits are often successful in warding off the potential risks, but in some cases, women may need to opt for surgical procedures, especially when precancerous signs of ovarian cancer exist.

Oral Contraceptives

Birth control pills can considerably reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, especially among women who take oral contraceptives for several years. As of 2015, research shows that women who take birth control pills for three or more years can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer by 30 to 50 percent.

Pregnancy and Breast Feeding

Studies have shown that women who have one or more children, especially if the first child is born before the mother is 25, are at a reduced risk for ovarian cancer. Breast-feeding children may also reduce the risk considerably.

Healthy Dietary Habits

Women who commit to healthy diet plans with a variety of nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables can lower their risk of ovarian cancer. Women who take vitamins, minerals or food supplements can also see positive results with weight loss, which can reduce the risk factors for ovarian cancer. A healthy diet combined with daily exercise and activity improves a woman's overall physical and mental health, which can ward off many risk factors for a variety of health conditions in addition to ovarian cancer.

Tubal Ligation

Women with a significant risk of ovarian cancer due to inherited genes, precancerous conditions and family medical history may opt for a tubal ligation to reduce the risk. This surgical procedure involves tying the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. Although tubal ligation may not completely reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, it may be a necessary option for women displaying precancerous symptoms.

Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy, which involves removing the ovaries surgically, is an option for women with a significant risk for ovarian cancer. This type of surgery does not exclusively avoid risks of ovarian cancer but may need to be performed for valid medical reasons or when a woman over 40 has a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. As hysterectomy is a permanent removal of the reproductive organs, and women opting for this surgery cannot become pregnant once the procedure is complete.

Avoidance

Women who abstain from lifestyle habits that increase the risks of cancer in general can reduce the potential risks of ovarian cancer. Research shows that risk factors for ovarian and other types of cancer include exposure to harmful chemicals, smoking and an excess intake of alcohol.

Conclusion

Ovarian cancer may not always be preventable, especially when inherited genes and family history put women at risk for the disease, but changes in lifestyle and medical interventions may decrease the risk factors and treat precancerous conditions. Women who avoid behaviors that increase risk factors and adopt a healthy lifestyle may be able to reduce the chances of a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

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