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  • Writer's pictureWomen's Cancer Research Foundation

Prevention of Ovarian Cancer

Updated: Jan 12


Risk reduction for women who carry BRCA1/2 mutations can achieve a 95% reduced risk of ovarian cancer through a risk-reducing prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (the surgical removal of healthy tubes and ovaries in high-risk women to reduce future risk of ovarian and/or breast carcinoma).

Pregnancies are associated with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer.

Also, pregnancies are associated with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. Compared to nulliparous women (no previous births), those with 1 live birth have an approximate 24% decreased risk for ovarian cancer, while women with two or more live births have an approximate 42% risk reduction. This protective effect applies to incomplete pregnancies, where a 20% decreased risk is extended to women with ≥2 incomplete pregnancies and improves to a 60% decreased risk for women who have ≥3 complete pregnancies.

When oral contraceptive use is considered, ever users had almost a 30% reduction in ovarian cancer risk compared to women who never used contraceptives; the risk decreased with the prolonged use of contraceptives. Moreover, the protective effect remained significant for up to 35 years after the last oral contraceptive use.

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About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation

The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of the most active research organizations in the nation. We are dedicated to studying and evaluating novel treatments for women afflicted with breast, ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancers. The WCRF persistently endeavors to make a difference in women’s lives by offering them hope, strength, and progress.

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