Ovarian Cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer or Primary Peritoneal Cancer
If a family member of mine has ovarian cancer, what are the chances that I might have it?
Family history is a major risk factor of ovarian cancer. About one out of every 10 ovarian cancer cases is hereditary. Two mutations primarily associated with ovarian cancer are BRCA-1 and BRCA-2. Women who inherit these mutations are at a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer, but need not necessarily get cancer. A genetic testing and genetic counselling can help determine these mutations and if positive, necessary counselling and monitoring can be planned. To know more on other risk factors of ovarian cancer, click here.
How is ovarian cyst different from ovarian cancer?
An ovarian cyst is different from ovarian cancer. Ovarian cyst is a collection of fluid inside the ovary, most of which is normally formed inside the ovary itself as a part of ovulation (release of egg from ovary). This is usually cleared off in a few months without any treatment. For this reason, the doctor may want to check for the cysts after one’s menstrual cycle. Ovarian cysts can however be a cause of concern in case of women who are not ovulating (those past menopause or those who haven’t started menstruating). Also, at times the cyst may stay and turn into benign tumours. The only way to treat the woman in such cases will be to surgically remove the cyst.
Is ovarian cancer preventable?
There is no definite answer to this. However, a lot of research evidence tells us that factors which reduce ovulation may also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. These factors include pregnancy and breastfeeding, birth control and hysterectomy. To know more, click here
Can hereditary risk for ovarian cancer be passed on from my father’s side?
Yes, this is very much possible. Approximately, one out of 10 ovarian cancer cases are hereditary. Mutations in BRCA genes, which can be inherited from both the father’s or mother’s side can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. To read more on other risk factors, click here.