Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer : An Umbrella Review of the Literature

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Whelan , E , Kalliala , I , Semertzidou , A , Raglan , O , Bowden , S , Kechagias , K , Markozannes , G , Cividini , S , McNeish , I , Marchesi , J , MacIntyre , D , Bennett , P , Tsilidis , K & Kyrgiou , M 2022 , ' Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer : An Umbrella Review of the Literature ' , Cancers , vol. 14 , no. 11 , 2708 . https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14112708

Title: Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer : An Umbrella Review of the Literature
Author: Whelan, Eilbhe; Kalliala, Ilkka; Semertzidou, Anysia; Raglan, Olivia; Bowden, Sarah; Kechagias, Konstantinos; Markozannes, Georgios; Cividini, Sofia; McNeish, Iain; Marchesi, Julian; MacIntyre, David; Bennett, Phillip; Tsilidis, Kostas; Kyrgiou, Maria
Contributor organization: Clinicum
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
HUS Gynecology and Obstetrics
University of Helsinki
Date: 2022-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 22
Belongs to series: Cancers
ISSN: 2072-6694
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14112708
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/346309
Abstract: Simple Summary Ovarian cancer is the most lethal cancer of the female genital tract despite major advances in both surgical and oncological treatments. This is in part due to difficulties in identifying those most at risk of developing ovarian cancer, and that there are currently no effective screening strategies. Whilst 20% of cases have a genetic component, the majority have no obvious cause. Many risk factors have been associated with ovarian cancer, although the strength of this evidence remains unclear. This umbrella review attempts to review the validity of associations between non-genetic risk factors and the risk of developing or dying from ovarian cancer. There were six associations that were supported by strong evidence. Greater height, BMI and use of HRT increased the risk, whilst the use of oral contraceptive pill reduced that risk. This review will enable further research into these areas and may promote identification of individuals at high risk. Several non-genetic factors have been associated with ovarian cancer incidence or mortality. To evaluate the strength and validity of the evidence we conducted an umbrella review of the literature that included systematic reviews/meta-analyses that evaluated the link between non-genetic risk factors and ovarian cancer incidence and mortality. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and performed a manual screening of references. Evidence was graded into strong, highly suggestive, suggestive or weak based on statistical significance of the random effects summary estimate and the largest study in a meta-analysis, the number of cases, between-study heterogeneity, 95% prediction intervals, small study effects, and presence of excess significance bias. We identified 212 meta-analyses, investigating 55 non-genetic risk factors for ovarian cancer. Risk factors were grouped in eight broad categories: anthropometric indices, dietary intake, physical activity, pre-existing medical conditions, past drug history, biochemical markers, past gynaecological history and smoking. Of the 174 meta-analyses of cohort studies assessing 44 factors, six associations were graded with strong evidence. Greater height (RR per 10 cm 1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.20), body mass index (BMI) (RR >= 30 kg/m(2) versus normal 1.27, 95% CI 1.17-1.38) and three exposures of varying preparations and usage related to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use increased the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Use of oral contraceptive pill reduced the risk (RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.69-0.80). Refining the significance of genuine risk factors for the development of ovarian cancer may potentially increase awareness in women at risk, aid prevention and early detection.
Subject: ovarian cancer
fallopian tube cancer
gynaecological oncology
hormone replacement therapy
risk factors
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3122 Cancers
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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