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Redmond Regional Medical Center

Reducing Your Risk of Ovarian Cancer

At this time, there are no specific guidelines for the prevention of ovarian cancer because the cause is unknown; however, women who have had children and who have breastfed them are at lower risk for developing ovarian cancer.

Genetic testing may help identify patients who should consider having a salpingo-oophorectomy . This procedure involves removing both ovaries and the fallopian tubes. It may be done, in some cases, to prevent ovarian cancer in high-risk women, such as:

  • Women with a first degree relative with ovarian or breast cancer
  • Women who have had breast cancer before age 40
  • Women who test positive for a genetic mutation (BRCA1 or BRCA2)

The surgery is the only proven method to reduce the risk of getting this often fatal disease.

To reduce your risk:

  • Have an annual health checkup with a pelvic exam
  • Eat a low-fat diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain a healthy weight so the doctor can easily feel your ovaries
  • Talk to your doctor about whether aspirin would help lower your risk of ovarian cancer.

Revision Information

  • Kasper DL, Harrison TR. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 1998.

  • Ovarian cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated December 2013. Accessed January 3, 2014

  • Ovarian cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Accessed January 3, 2014.

  • 2/4/2015 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance Trabert B, Ness, RB. Aspirin, nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and acetaminophen use and risk of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Feb;106(2):djt431.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Redmond Regional Medical Center does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.