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Why is the impact of Ovarian Cancer important to Albertans?

Ovarian cancer is the 10th most common cancer among women in Alberta.1 About 200 women were diagnosed in 2012.2

  • The risk of getting ovarian cancer starts to rise about age 40, levels off quickly, and doesn’t fall until about age 80.

What can I do?

Experts in Alberta agree that we can prevent about 50 out of 100 cases of ovarian cancer.2 Here’s how:

Not being active enough is linked to about 13% of new cancer cases.

To prevent cancer, the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) recommend being active(e.g., brisk walking) for at least 30 minutes each day and limiting sedentary habits like watching television.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is medication used to treat the symptoms of menopause. HRT is linked to about 9% of new ovarian cancer cases. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends women not use HRT for any reason other than to relieve severe symptoms of menopause that don’t respond to other treatment.  

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)4 has found that taking birth control pills appears to lower the risk of ovarian cancer. In Alberta, research suggests that taking the birth control pill could prevent about 29% of new cases of ovarian cancer. But we know that taking birth control pills increases the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer,4 especially in women who are taking or who stopped taking them in the last 10 years. It’s important for women to speak with their health care provider about their own and their family history of cancer and other health conditions if they’re thinking about taking birth control pills.

More information on ovarian cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment at MyHealth Alberta.

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