Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification
Several different risk factors are associated with ovarian cancer. Studies show the disease most commonly strikes women over the age of 50, and is more prevalent among Caucasians than African Americans. Ovarian cancer tends to run in families, and is associated with a particularly high risk if an individual has had two or more close family members with the disease. An elevated level of chronic exposure to the female sex hormone estrogen related to, among other things, early onset of menstruation, late onset of menopause, and low number of pregnancies, is another key risk factor that contributes to malignant ovarian growths. Certain acquired genetic mutations and a personal history of breast cancer have been linked to some cases of ovarian cancer as well.