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Scientists at hospitals and medical centers all across the country are studying ovarian cancer They are trying to learn more about what causes this disease and how to prevent it They are also looking for ways to detect it earlier and to treat it more effectively Cause and Prevention About 1 in every 70 women in the United States will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime Most cases occur in women over the age of 50 but it can also affect younger women The disease is more common in white women than in black women but doctors do not know why Scientists do not know what causes ovarian cancer It is clear however that this disease is not contagious no one can catch ovarian cancer from another person By studying large numbers of women all over the world researchers have found certain risk factor that increase a womans chance of developing ovarian cancer However studies also show that most women with these risk factors do not get ovarian cancer and many women who do get the disease have none of the risk factors we know about The following are some of the known risk factors for ovarian cancer Family medical history The risk of getting ovarian cancer increases for a woman whose close relative mother sister daughter has had the disease The risk is especially high if two or more close relatives have had the disease The risk is not quite as high for women with other relatives grandmother aunt or cousin who have had ovarian cancer Childbearing Women who have never been pregnant are more likely to develop ovarian cancer than are women who have had children In fact the more times a women has been pregnant the less likely she is to develop ovarian cancer Also women who use oral contraceptives birth control pills are less likely to develop ovarian cancer than are women who
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