What is Ovarian Cancer and its Risk Factors?

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed

The ovary is the part of the female reproductive system that produces an egg. Women have two ovaries, each of which produces an egg alternatively every month.

Cancer is an unorganized growth of cells. If it begins in the ovary, it is known as ovarian cancer. If anyone in your family has ovarian cancer, you must visit an oncologist in Lahore.

What is Ovarian Cancer and its Risk Factors?

What are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?

Mostly ovarian cancer starts in the epithelial or the outer lining of the ovary. Therefore in the early stages, there are few to no symptoms.

Even if symptoms occur, they may resemble other conditions such as temporary bladder problems, irritable bowel syndrome, and premenstrual syndrome. The early symptoms of ovarian cancer are;

Pressure or pain in the pelvic region
Pain in the abdomen or back
Sudden vaginal bleeding apart from periods
Feeling of fullness upon eating
Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea
Altered urinating frequency
Appetite loss
Weight loss
Nausea and indigestion

What are the Risk Factors associated with Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a condition when the cells of ovaries replicate in an unorganized manner. The risk factors of ovarian cancer are not identifiable. However, they include;

Family history

Having a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer can increase the chances for you too.

If your mother or sister has had it, you may keep undergoing regular screening. Therefore if you are at risk of ovarian cancer because of family history, you must get checked for mutations in the BRCA gene.


Age may play a role in increasing the risk for breast cancer. According to experts, half of the cases of ovarian cancer are above the age of 63.

Reproductive history

Pregnancy and reproductive history also play a role in devising risk for ovarian cancer. The risk lowers if you have had a full-term pregnancy. Breastfeeding the child also lowers its risk. The more pregnancies you have, the risk of ovarian cancer lowers.

Never getting pregnant, or having children in later years of age can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Moreover, using a birth control plan or injectable contraceptives can lower the risk of ovarian cancer.

Breast cancer

Getting breast cancer can increase the risk of ovarian cancer for you. It can occur because breast cancer can cause mutation of the BRCA gene.

Moreover, some chemotherapeutic drugs used for breast cancer can lead to unorganized replication of the ovarian cells, eventually causing ovarian cancer.

Therefore many times, women who are diagnosed and get treatment for breast cancer, may need to get an oophorectomy- removal of ovaries. So ovarian cancer does not occur.

Hormone replacement therapy

When a female is reaching menopause, the hormone production changes, and estrogen levels decline.

At that time, to treat the symptoms of menopause, they may need to get hormone replacement therapy. Taking that can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. The longer you take hormone replacement therapy, the more ovarian cancer risk increases.


Gaining too much weight can lead to obesity. Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Therefore you must shed those extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight according to the body mass index.

Human papillomavirus

Getting infected with the human papillomavirus or HPV can increase the risk of ovarian cancer.


Ovarian cancer is the cancer of the ovaries. The good news is that if diagnosed at early stages, it is not life-threatening as ovaries can be removed.

However, if it occurs during reproductive age, then fertility may be affected. If you have any signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, you must visit an oncologist in Karachi.