Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

  • Anshuja Singla


Ovarian cancer (OC) is the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the eighth most common cause of death in them. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that in 2012, gynecological cancers accounted for 20% of the 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer deaths in females. Of this, 239,000 new cases were diagnosed as OC and caused 1,52,000 deaths. Epithelial OC is the predominant subtype with five other major histological subtypes. Rare inherited mutations account for a good number of OC cases. Factors like parity, oral contraceptive use, and lactation are protective, while older age at menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increase the risk. Cigarette smoking plays an important role in the pathogenesis, whereas the association with polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), hysterectomy, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is unclear. All the risk factors for development of ovarian cancer will be discussed in detail in the chapter.


Ovarian cancer Risk factors Smoking Contraception Breastfeeding Obesity Drugs Prophylactic oophorectomy 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anshuja Singla
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur HospitalNew DelhiIndia

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