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Ovarian cancer is cancer that begins in the ovaries or nearby tissues like the fallopian tubes. Although research is ongoing, we still don’t know what exactly causes ovarian cancer to occur. However, researchers have identified several risk factors. These risk factors can increase your likelihood of developing ovarian cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,410 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2021. Read on to learn about risk factors for ovarian cancer and how to lower yours.

The risk factors for ovarian cancer are:

If you have one or more of the risk factors we’ve described above, it’s important to watch out for signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and contact a doctor right away if they occur.

A note about risk factors

When discussing risk factors, it’s important to remember that having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you’re certain to get ovarian cancer. It simply means that you’re at an increased risk compared with the general population.

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While we don’t have any known ways to prevent ovarian cancer, we do know of certain things that can help to lower your risk of developing it. These include:

Many of the factors above have different risks and benefits associated with them. Because of this, they may not be recommended for everyone.

Talk with a doctor about your level of risk

If you have one or more risk factors for ovarian cancer, be sure to talk with a doctor about your level of risk. They can recommend steps that you can take to reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer in the future, or catch it at an early stage.

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