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Ovarian Cancer

Use science to live well, live longer, and live healthier.

Age is the most common risk factor in developing ovarian cancer. Research shows that maintaining a healthy weight can help you reduce your risk.

This content was last updated on January 9, 2020

Ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer in women worldwide.

The ovaries are the sites of ovum (egg) production in women. They are also the main source of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in pre-menopausal women. There are three types of ovarian tissue that can produce cancers: epithelial cells, which cover the ovary; stromal cells, which produce hormones; and germ cells, which become ova.

AICR’S latest report on ovarian cancer found that maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk.

Read Full Report

CUP report on Ovarian Cancer:

Lifestyle and ovarian cancer risk.

  • Weight

    Excess body fat increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

    • Obesity influences the levels of a number of hormones and growth factors. Circulating concentrations of insulin and leptin are elevated in obese people, and both can promote the growth of cancer cells.
    • Sex steroid hormones, including estrogen, androgen, and progesterone, are likely to play a role in obesity and cancer.
    • Obesity is characterized by a low-grade chronic inflammatory state. Such chronic inflammation can promote cancer development.
  • Adult-attained height

    There is probable evidence that developmental factors leading to greater height may increase risk.

  • Other Factors
    • Increasing age and a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer increases the risk of ovarian cancer.
    • Women who have certain inherited mutations – such as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 — or genetic conditions also have an increased risk.

Take a moment to check in with your health:

Foods that fight cancer.

No single food can protect you against cancer by itself. But research shows that a diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other plant foods helps lower risk for many cancers.

Cancer Updates

The science of survival.

AICR’s health guides and recommendations are developed from research that focuses on how nutrition and lifestyle affect the prevention, treatment, and survival of cancer. Paramount to our updates is the Continuous Update Project which helps you stay on top of new findings, and understand the data that sits at the center of our work.