Exercise May Cut Ovarian Cancer Risk
Benefit Reported With Moderate but Not Vigorous Physical Activity
The study has some limits. Self-reports can be flawed. Women may have
mistakenly described their activity level "moderate" instead of
"vigorous," say the researchers.
The questionnaires didn't cover the length of activity sessions, so there's
no word on how long a woman would have to walk, for example, to get any ovarian
About 20% of the patients the researchers wanted to include had already
died, couldn't be located, or their physicians refused to contact them about
the study. Of those who were contacted, nearly one in four (24%) did not return
"This low response rate among cases was largely due to the poor
prognosis of ovarian cancer, and it could affect the generalization of our
results," write researchers.
About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer among women (not counting
skin cancer) and women's No. 4 cause of cancer death, says the American Cancer
The disease often has few early symptoms. Only about a quarter of cases are
found at an early stage, when the chances of successful treatment are best,
says the ACS.
Recently, other researchers But that test is not yet ready
for widespread use.
Any woman can develop ovarian cancer. Women at high risk (such as those with
a strong family history of the disease) may be screened with ultrasound and
blood tests, says the ACS.
That's all the more reason to know your family's medical history, share it
with your doctor, follow screening guidelines, and ask questions about any
Other risk factors can include never being pregnant, decreased fertility,
and delayed childbearing in women who have not used oral contraceptives. Some
studies have also linked the use of fertility drugs to an increased risk of