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Ovarian Cancer: Etiology, Risk Factors, and Epidemiology


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: March 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 1 - p 3–23
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31824b4611
Ovarian Cancer

Little is known regarding the early aspects of ovarian carcinogenesis. As a consequence, the identification of women at risk for the disease is based primarily on clinical grounds, with family history being the most important risk factor. In this review, we will discuss the various hypotheses regarding ovarian etiology and pathogenesis. In addition, we will discuss the epidemiology of ovarian cancer, including hereditary, reproductive, hormonal, inflammatory, dietary, surgical, and geographic factors that influence ovarian cancer risk.

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, NorthShore University Healthsystem, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Chicago, Evanston, Illinois

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose

Correspondence: Gustavo C. Rodriguez, MD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, NorthShore University Healthsystem, 2650 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL. 60201 E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.