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Cause of Ovarian Cancer: 5 Things You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by John Paul Abrina, MD · Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Feb 14, 2022

Cause of Ovarian Cancer: 5 Things You Need to Know

A number of things can be a possible cause of ovarian cancer. And it is important for women to be aware of these things, so that they can take the necessary steps in order to lower their risk of developing ovarian cancer.

What could be a possible cause of ovarian cancer?

The risk of ovarian cancer depends on a number of factors, and not just a singular cause of ovarian cancer. So it would be best to avoid these things in order to avoid developing this type of cancer.

Here are some possible causes:

Mutations in cell DNA

Cancer cells develop because of mutations in a cell’s DNA. In the case of ovarian cancer, these mutations can start in the ovaries. Over time, the cancer cells multiply, and if left untreated, they start to spread throughout the body.

Because this phenomenon is not yet fully understood, it can be hard to take steps to avoid it from happening. So the best thing you can do would be to stay healthy and get regular check ups.

Unfortunately, there are no established screening guidelines for ovarian cancer, however, it can be detected based on symptoms and tests such as a transvaginal ultrasound or CA-125 blood test.

Family history of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer can also be a hereditary disease. This means that if you have close relatives who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, then there is a possibility that you might be diagnosed with it too.

This is because some gene mutations that trigger ovarian cancer can be passed on, and this increases the risk for ovarian cancer.

The best way to deal with this is to be mindful of any symptoms you’re experiencing, and to get yearly screening for cancer. While this doesn’t eliminate the risk, screening can help with early detection and treatment before the cancer gets worse, or spreads throughout the body.

Worried about ovarian cancer? Try our risk screener:

Early menstruation and late menopause

Women who started their menstruation early, as well as women who started their menopause late also have an increased chance of ovarian cancer. 

It is not yet fully understood why this is the case, but researchers believe that it might have something to do with estrogen exposure and number of ovulations. Because estrogen is highest during childbearing age or a woman’s fertile years, women who menstruate at an early age and start menopause at an older age have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.

It might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about your risk, as well as what steps you can take to prevent ovarian cancer.

Estrogen replacement therapy

For women experiencing menopause, estrogen replacement therapy is a common treatment option. Doctors usually recommend this to women struggling to cope with menopause symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

However, researchers found that estrogen replacement therapy for long periods of time increased the risk of cancer. They also found that the risk increases with a higher dosage of medication.

So if you’re considering this treatment, it’s important to be aware of the possible risks. Try to weigh out the pros and cons before you agree to this therapy.


Lastly, age is a factor when it comes to ovarian cancer. The older a woman is, the higher the risk they have of ovarian cancer.

In fact, ovarian cancer is relatively rare in younger women. Most women who have ovarian cancer developed it after menopause. Additionally, 50% of cases reported were women aged 63 and older.

This means that as you grow older, the more important it is for you to undergo cancer screening. Ideally, you should undergo screening yearly in order to keep tabs on your current state of health.

Key Takeaways

Knowing the possible causes of ovarian cancer is important in assessing your risk for this illness. This helps you be more mindful about your health, and enables you to take steps to lower your risk, or do something about the illness before it gets worse.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

John Paul Abrina, MD

Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Feb 14, 2022

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