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
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 01/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/10/2014 -