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Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women—a woman has a 1 in 67 chance of developing the disease. Ovarian cancer symptoms are often vague and non-specific, so women and doctors often blame the symptoms on other, more common conditions. By the time the cancer is diagnosed, the tumor has often spread beyond the ovaries and is difficult to treat.

The best way to prevent ovarian cancer is to have yearly pelvic exams and a vaginal ultrasound if you are at high risk for developing the disease. The Norton Cancer Institute Resource Centers provide information about cancer screenings, testing, assessments and follow-up to help determine your risk for cancer. For more information, please call (502) 629-5500 or email  One of our specialists will respond within 48 hours. Exceptions may include weekends and holidays.

Norton Cancer Institute also offers a full range of ovarian cancer treatment options, as well as ongoing support for patients and families. For more information about our comprehensive ovarian care, or to make an appointment, please call (502) 629-1234 or find a gynencologic oncologist.

About Ovarian Cancer

Risk Factors

This risk for developing ovarian cancer appears to be affected by several factors. The more children a woman has and the earlier in life she gives birth, the lower her risk of ovarian cancer. Certain genes are responsible for a small number of ovarian cancer cases. Women with a personal history of breast cancer or a family history of breast or ovarian cancer have an increased risk.

Additional risk factors include:

  • Women whose first-degree female relative (mother, daughter, sister) was diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, especially before menopause
  • Women older than 50
  • Women who have never had children
  • Women who have had breast or colon cancer
  • Women who have used fertility drugs
  • Women over age 50 who have used talc in the genital area for many years
  • Women who have used hormone replacement therapy after menopause

Hereditary Ovarian Cancer

About 10 percent of ovarian cancers are genetic. These cancers tend to strike women at an earlier age than non-hereditary cancers. Norton Cancer Institute genetic counseling servies include education, risk assessment and testing for people who are concerned about their risk of hereditary cancers. For more information, please call (502) 629-GENE.

Ovarian Cancer Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptoms are:

  • General abdominal discomfort and/or pain that does not go away in two or three weeks or worsens
  • Nausea, diarrhea, constipation or frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling of fullness even after a light meal
  • Weight gain or loss with no known reason
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding

Cancers We Treat

Brain Tumors
Bladder Cancer
Bone Cancer
Breast Cancer
Cervical Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Kidney Cancer
Liver Cancer
Lung Cancer
Ovarian Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Skin Cancers
Uterine Cancer


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