Ask Dr Miriam

Daily Mirror - - STARS &TOONS -

Q

An aunt has just been di­ag­nosed with ovar­ian can­cer. Nat­u­rally I’m scared I might get it too. Are there any things I should do to avoid get­ting it?

A Yes, there are quite a few. Keep to a healthy weight and if you smoke, quit. Women who smoke are at a higher risk.

Hav­ing chil­dren pro­tects you. The more you have, the lower the risk of ovar­ian can­cer. The pill also sig­nif­i­cantly low­ers your chance of de­vel­op­ing ovar­ian can­cer, both while you’re tak­ing the it and long af­ter you stop. Women who breast­feed may have a lower risk and hor­mone re­place­ment ther­apy (HRT), par­tic­u­larly oe­stro­gen-only HRT, can in­crease a woman’s risk. The longer you take HRT the more the risk in­creases. Also, one woman in 10 is born with a faulty gene that runs in the fam­ily, but hav­ing a rel­a­tive with can­cer doesn’t al­ways mean you have this gene.

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