A woman has a 1 in 67 chance of developing ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women, and it causes more deaths than any other type of female reproductive cancer. The cause is unknown.
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.
The 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 for ovarian cancer.
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