Ovarian cancer is a silent killer, with symptoms often not present until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women, with over 21,000 new cases and 13,000 deaths in the United States each year.
While there are known risk factors such as age, family history, and genetics, there are also surprising factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.
These factors are often overlooked or unknown, making it important to raise awareness about them. In this blog, we will explore some of the surprising factors that increase the risk of ovarian cancer, including lifestyle choices, environmental factors, and medical history.
By understanding these factors, women can take proactive steps to reduce their risk and catch the disease early when treatment is most effective.
The risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as you age. Most cases of ovarian cancer occur in women over the age of 50, and the risk continues to increase with each passing decade.
However, ovarian cancer can also occur in younger women, so it is important to be aware of the other risk factors.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often prescribed to women to help relieve symptoms of menopause. However, some studies have found that long-term use of HRT can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that long-term use of HRT can increase the risk of ovarian cancer by up to 40%.
The risk appears to be higher in women who have been using HRT for over five years, and the risk decreases after discontinuing the treatment. It is still unclear how exactly HRT increases the risk of ovarian cancer, but it is thought to be related to the estrogen component of the treatment.
- Hair Relaxer Chemicals
Hair relaxers contain a number of chemicals that work together to break down the protein bonds in the hair, allowing it to be straightened. However, some of these chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
One of the main chemicals found in hair relaxers is called lye or sodium hydroxide. In some cases, lye can come into contact with the reproductive organs and increase the risk of ovarian cancer. If you think you have symptoms of ovarian cancer due to a hair straightening treatment, you can file a lawsuit against the company and get compensation for your damage. For this, make sure to hire a lawyer who can guide you about hair relaxer lawsuit considerations and help you get the compensation fund you deserve.
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it, attaching to other organs and tissues in the body. This can cause pain and discomfort, particularly during menstruation and sexual intercourse. It affects an estimated 10% of women of reproductive age, and is often associated with infertility.
The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but it is thought to be related to hormonal imbalances and genetic factors. Treatment options include pain management, hormonal therapy, and surgery, but there is currently no cure for endometriosis.
Obesity is a medical condition characterized by excess body fat that increases the risk of various health problems. It is usually defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Obesity can lead to a range of health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer.
It is often caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits.
- Talcum Powder
Talcum powder, which is often used on babies and in personal hygiene products, has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
This is because talc particles can travel up the reproductive tract and become embedded in the ovaries. If you use talcum powder, consider switching to a talc-free alternative.
Smoking is a known risk factor for many types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who smoke have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than non-smokers. If you smoke, quitting can help reduce your risk.
Taking a Quick Recap
While there is no surefire way to prevent ovarian cancer, being aware of the risk factors can help you take steps to reduce your risk. If you have any concerns about your risk of ovarian cancer, talk to your primary doctor at the earliest.
They can help you understand your risk and recommend screening tests or other preventive measures.