Your Biggest Cancer Risks: Ovarian, Pancreatic and Stomach Cancers

Reduce your risk by recognizing and changing your risk factors for some of the most easily missed cancers.

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Learn about some daily deadly habits that could be increasing your risk for certain easily-missed cancers.

From This Episode:

What's Your Cancer Risk?

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women between the ages of 35 and 74. Due to a lack of effective screening methods, this cancer is discovered in women at advanced stages, which is associated with poor survival. It is vital for women to recognize the warning signs of ovarian cancer and talk with their doctor about them.

It’s also important to reduce your risk by recognizing and changing your risk factors, which include having belly fat. Women who are 25 or more pounds overweight have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Obese women have a 30% higher risk of ovarian cancer compared to those with a healthy weight. Furthermore, consuming dairy products also has been shown to increase one’s risk of ovarian cancer. Lactose, found in most dairy food, has been hypothesized to promote cancer growth. Studies have found that people who ate 30 grams of lactose a day increased their ovarian cancer risk by 20%. That’s one glass of milk or one cup of ice cream!

On the other hand, birth control pills have been shown to be protective against ovarian cancer. One study found that taking the pill for 15 years or more cut a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by 58%. In fact, even women who took the pill for only 1-4 years were found to have a 22% lower risk of ovarian cancer. Another important ovarian cancer-fighting solution: fiber. A large study revealed that women who ate a high fiber diet (38-77 grams/day) had a greater than 20% reduction in their risk of ovarian cancer compared to those with low fiber intake. Fiber lowers the production of sex hormones, which then decreases one's risk of ovarian cancer. Read more about what fiber-rich foods are good for you.

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