Ovarian Cancer – How to Reduce the Risks

Ovarian Cancer – How to Reduce the Risks


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Ovarian Cancer – How to Reduce the Risks

Known as the ‘silent killer’, ovarian cancer remains one of the biggest risks to women’s health.  The disease has earned its nickname as it can develop undetected and spread before symptoms are obvious meaning that despite huge advances in cancer treatments over the last forty years, ovarian cancer continues to pose one of the most significant risks to women.  The majority of women are exposed to one or more risk factors that contribute to this type of cancer and in the case of ‘epithelial’ ovarian cancer it is possible to reduce some of these risks. This post looks only at the ways in which the risks can be reduced for those with the potential for developing epithelial ovarian cancer and does not relate to other types of ovarian cancer.  For those who are worried about the risks of any type of ovarian or other cancer it’s essential to discuss your concerns with you doctor or with a private medical practitioner.  Where risks can be reduced it makes sense to take active steps to avoid developing the condition and there are two main approaches to reducing the risks.  The first is through the use of oral contraceptives and the second through surgery.

Oral Contraceptives

Research has found that one side effect of using oral contraceptives as part of sexual health, or family planning process, can reduce the risks of ovarian cancer by up to 50 per cent.  The effect has been particularly noted in women who have taken the pill for several years with the most noticeable reduction appearing in the groups studied who have taken oral contraception for over six or more years.  While it may be tempting for women with a history of ovarian cancer in the family to assume that the oral contraceptive approach to risk reduction is a sensible step, it’s important to be aware that the pill itself has been found to have side effects and can often cause additional health problems.  For these reasons it’s absolutely essential that any women considering using the pill, for whatever reason, should consult with a gynecologist or their doctor.

Surgical Risk Reduction

A hysterectomy may help to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer – but in the UK the procedure will normally only be undertaken for valid medical reasons.  However, for those faced with this surgery it’s important to note that a hysterectomy which includes the full removal of both Fallopian tubes and ovaries is likely to reduce the risks of developing ovarian cancer in the future.  Standard medical procedures do not always use this method and for those who have a history of ovarian cancer in the family then requesting that this procedure is undertaken can be a sensible step but should be discussed with your doctor or consultant surgeon.

Ovarian Cancer Genetic Issues

For those individuals with a strong family history of ovarian cancer the first step to take is to test for the genetic mutation that causes the development of the disease; however, the test itself can be a distressing process and medical advice promotes pre and post counseling as the best route to take.  This counseling should be considered an integral part of the process as whatever the results of the test it can be a very difficult time for both individuals and their families.  The risk reduction strategies for those found to have the gene mutations that are linked to the development of the cancer are largely the same as for those without.  Positive results have been found from the use of the pill, and during a hysterectomy the full removal of Fallopian tubes and ovaries will potential reduce the risks of developing the disease.  For women at a high genetic risk of ovarian cancer, who have finished having their children, it may be worth consulting with a gynecologist to discuss the option of a hysterectomy.  In all cases, counseling is strongly advised and this is particularly so in the latter case.

The good news for those worried about the risks of ovarian cancer is that over the last twenty years the fatalities from this type of cancer have been steadily dropping.  In all age groups the numbers of deaths has fallen and this is generally accepted as being in part due to early diagnosis and also thanks to increased awareness of the illness and great improvements in care and treatment.  For any woman worried about the risks of ovarian cancer consulting with your doctor, being aware of the risks and  symptoms is proven to greatly reduce the risk of the illness developing in the first place – or should you become unwell in aiding your recovery.
Research has found that one side effect of using oral contraceptives as part of sexual health or family planning process, can reduce the risks of ovarian cancer by up to 50 per cent.  The effect has been particularly noted in women who have taken the pill for several years with the most noticeable reduction appearing in the groups studied who have taken oral contraception for over six or more years.  While it may be tempting for women with a history of ovarian cancer in the family to assume that the oral contraceptive approach to risk reduction is a sensible step, it’s important to be aware that the pill itself has been found to have side effects and can often cause additional health problems. For example, the birth control yasmin side effects are much different than a more traditional birth control pill according to drugnews.net. For these reasons it’s absolutely essential that any women considering using the pill, for whatever reason, should consult with a gynecologist or their doctor.

Author:

Carla Rossi is a health writer covering everything from the advanced breast care service screening from the gynecologists at Blossoms Healthcare to guides on bi-lateral digital mammogram.

 

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