Incidence of ovarian cancer varies in Europe due to changing risk factors and improved treatment
Europe has one of the highest incidence rates of ovarian cancer in the world, making it an important public health issue. A new large-scale study of ovarian cancer trends found that while it is declining in most northern European countries, it is increasing in a few southern and eastern European countries. The study is published October 25, 2004 in the online edition of the International Journal of Cancer – the official journal of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) – and is available online via Wiley InterScience.
Ovarian cancer rates may be affected by several factors. Hormonal factors include a womans age when menstruation began, the number of menstrual cycles she has had, and reaching menopause at a late age, In addition, nulliparity (never having children) or a low parity (e.g. having only borne children 1-2 times) has also been associated with increased risk of this type of cancer, while use of oral contraceptives has been associated with a decreased risk. Other factors include heredity, with ovarian cancer tending to run in families, and diet, although this relationship remains uncertain.
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