March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women with over 7,300 women in the UK being diagnosed each year*.
Although the exact cause for ovarian cancer is unknown, there are some things that increase the risk of developing it:
- Being over the age of 50 – Make sure you get your health checks; they are available via the NHS for anybody between the age of 40 to 74. They take place every five years. Everyone Health provides Health checks in selected areas.
- A family history – 15-20% of cases are believed to be caused by inherited faulty or mutated genes.
- Hormone replacement therapy (although any increased risk of cancer is likely to be very small)
- Endometriosis – a condition resulting from the appearance of the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation.
- Being overweight – a study* found that women with a body mass index (BMI) above 28 seem to have a slightly higher risk of developing the disease. Everyone Health can help you with your diet and with getting physically active.
- Smoking – Approximately three per cent of some types of ovarian cancer seem to be linked to exposure to tobacco smoke. If you need help to stop smoking Everyone Active provides stop smoking services to help you quit.
Everyone Health can help support you. We offer stop smoking services, weight management services, physical activity services and health checks. Take a look at our website or call: 0333 005 0095 to find out more.