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Ovarian Cancer Butterfly

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The risk of ovarian cancer increases in women who have ovulated more over their lifetime. This includes those who have never had children, those who begin ovulation at a younger age and those who reach menopause at an older age. Other risk factors include hormone therapy after menopause, fertility medication, and obesity. Factors that decrease risk include hormonal birth control, tubal ligation, and breast feeding. About 10% of cases are related to inherited genetic risk; women with mutations in the genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 have about a 50% chance of developing the disease. Ovarian carcinoma is the most common type of ovarian cancer, comprising more than 95% of cases. There are five main subtypes of ovarian carcinoma, of which high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) is the most common. These tumors are believed to start in the cells covering the ovaries, though some may form at the Fallopian tubes. Less common types of ovarian cancer include germ cell tumors and sex cord stromal tumors. A diagnosis of ovarian cancer is confirmed through a biopsy of tissue, usually removed during surgery.



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