Home  >  Health Encyclopedia  >  Health Encyclopedia Home

Health Encyclopedia


Health Encyclopedia Home

How Can I Prevent Ovarian Cancer?

How Can I Prevent Ovarian Cancer?

The best way you can protect yourself from ovarian cancer is to be aware of what makes you more likely to get it. These are called your risk factors. Researchers keep looking at new tests that may allow doctors to screen for ovarian cancer before it causes symptoms.

If you are concerned about your risk for developing ovarian cancer, talk with your health care provider about possible strategies to help decrease your risk. Such strategies may include: 

Oral contraceptives. Also known as birth control pills, these drugs may lower a woman's risk for some types of ovarian cancer. Women who take oral contraceptives for five years or more have about half the risk of getting ovarian cancer as women who never used them. But birth control pills can increase the risk for blood clots and stroke and can have other side effects.

Gynecologic surgery. Having the uterus removed, especially if the ovaries are removed at the same time, reduces a woman's risk of ovarian cancer. Having a tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") may decrease the risk for ovarian cancer as well. These are invasive surgeries, though, and should generally not be done only to reduce the risk for ovarian cancer. However, if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer with a certain genetic mutation that puts you at high risk for these cancers, then your doctor may want to discuss having surgery to remove the ovaries to lower your risk. 

Related Items
Content Type 167
  CA 125
Cancer Source
  What Is Ovarian Cancer?
  Statistics About Ovarian Cancer
  Am I At Risk for Ovarian Cancer?
  Can I Get Checked for Ovarian Cancer Before I Have Symptoms?
  What Are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?
  Radiation Therapy for Ovarian Cancer
  How Does My Doctor Know I Have Ovarian Cancer?
  Understanding Your Stage of Ovarian Cancer
  Types of Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
  Types of Surgery for Ovarian Cancer
  Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer
  Do What You Can to Ease Side Effects of Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
  Fertility Options for Women with Ovarian Cancer
  How to Maintain Emotional Wellness When You Have Ovarian Cancer
  Early Detection and Prevention Are Keys to Gynecological Health
  Understanding Your Type of Ovarian Cancer
  FDA-Approved Drugs
Cancer FAQs
  Frequently Asked Questions About Ovarian Cancer
NCI Patient Summary
  Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)
  Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)
  Reproductive Cancers Quiz
  Ovarian Cancer Risk Assessment
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Ovarian Cancer
  Ovarian Cancer as Part of Lynch Syndrome
  Genetics of Ovarian Cancer
  Hereditary Breast Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (BRCA1/BRCA2)