What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Ovarian Cancer?

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There is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer, but some things are associated with a lower chance of getting it.

There is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer, but these things are associated with a lower chance of getting ovarian cancer—

  • Having used birth control pills for five or more years.
  • Having had a tubal ligation (getting your tubes tied), both ovaries removed, or a hysterectomy (an operation in which the uterus, and sometimes the cervix, is removed).
  • Having given birth.
  • Breastfeeding. Some studies suggest that women who breastfeed for a year or more may have a modestly reduced risk of ovarian cancer.

Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk. While these things may help reduce the chance of getting ovarian cancer, they are not recommended for everybody, and risks and benefits are associated with each. For instance, birth control pills can increase your chance of getting breast cancer. Although you may be able to lower your risk, it does not mean you will not get cancer.