Ovarian Cancer occurs when malignant or cancerous cells develop on the ovaries, one of two small organs that are on each side of the uterus that store eggs or germ cells and produce female hormones. Cancer develops when cells in a part of the body, such as the ovary, begin to grow at an abnormal rate.
According to the American Cancer Society, in women age 35-74 ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths. 1 in 72 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime. In Arkansas, approximately 200 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and 150 deaths occur per year from this disease.
Risk factors for the development of ovarian cancer include:
- BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
- A personal or family history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer
- Increasing age, although it can occur at ANY age