What Are Protective Factors for Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer?
The following are protective factors for ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary
contraceptives (“the pill”) lowers the risk of ovarian cancer. The longer
oral contraceptives are used, the lower the risk may be. The decrease in risk
may last up to 30 years after a woman has stopped taking oral contraceptives.
Taking oral contraceptives increases the risk of blood
clots. This risk is higher in women who also smoke.
The risk of ovarian cancer is decreased in women who have a tubal
ligation (surgery to
close both fallopian
Breastfeeding is linked to a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. The longer a
woman breastfeeds, the lower her risk of ovarian cancer.
Some women who have a high risk of ovarian cancer may choose to have a
risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (surgery
to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries when there are no signs of cancer).
This includes women who have inherited certain changes in
the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or have an inherited syndrome.
It is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling before
making this decision. These and other factors may be discussed:
Early menopause: The drop in estrogen levels caused by removing the
ovaries can cause early menopause. Symptoms of
menopause include the following:
These symptoms may not be the same in all women. Hormone replacement therapy
(HRT) may be used to lessen these symptoms.
Risk of ovarian cancer in the peritoneum:
Women who have had a risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy continue to have a
small risk of ovarian cancer in the peritoneum (thin layer of tissue that
lines the inside of the abdomen).
This may occur if ovarian cancer cells had
already spread to the peritoneum before the surgery or if some ovarian tissue
remains after surgery.
Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer.
Cancer prevention clinical
trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types
of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who
have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention
trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent
another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new
type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known
to have any risk
factors for cancer.
The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether
actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and
vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals,
or food supplements.