Ascension St. Joseph Hospital Physician shares Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors Women Should Know

TAWAS CITY, MI - September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society reports that when diagnosed and treated in its early stages, more than 90% of patients with ovarian cancer will have a five-year survival rate or longer.

“It’s important that women are aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, particularly if they have certain risk factors,” said Christopher Landrey, DO, Ob/Gyn physician at Ascension St. Joseph Women's Center in Tawas City. “Regular women’s wellness exams can help detect ovarian cancer in its early stages, and women should continue regular exams even amidst the pandemic.”

Researchers have discovered several risk factors that might increase a woman’s chance of developing epithelial ovarian cancer, which is the most common type. These risk factors include:

  • Getting older: The risk of developing ovarian cancer increases with age. Ovarian cancer is rare in women under 40 years old, and half of all ovarian cancers occur in women 63 years of age or older.
    Having children later or never having a full-term pregnancy: Women who have their first full term pregnancy after 35 or who have never carried a pregnancy to term have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Having a family history of ovarian cancer: A woman’s ovarian cancer risk is increased if her mother, sister or daughter has had ovarian cancer. The risk also gets higher if multiple relatives have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
  • Any woman who thinks she is at risk of ovarian cancer or who experiences persistent symptoms, including abdominal or pelvic pain, pressure, swelling, or bloating should talk with her healthcare provider.

Ascension St. Joseph Women's Center is accepting patients. Visit GetAscensionMichiganCare.com or call (989) 362-2540 to schedule an appointment.