Risk of Ovarian Cancer & Drinking Alcohol (Important Information)

The risk of ovarian cancer is not linked to drinking alcohol even at high levels of consumption.

Overview
  1. Ovarian Cancer
  2. Risk of Ovarian Cancer
  3. Resources

I. Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a very serious disease. It is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women in the U.S. But if detected early, the five-year survival rate is about 93%.

The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urgent or frequent urination

Other possible signs are risk of ovarian cancer

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Back pain
  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue

These can also be symptoms of many other diseases. That’s why it’s important to check with a doctor. Don’t try to diagnose yourself. Early detection of ovary cancer is very important for recovery.

II. Risk of Ovarian Cancer

This study examined evidence about the possible effect of drinking on risk of ovarian cancer.

Researchers included data from 13 studies in the analysis. Information came from 1,996,841 individuals. They were studied over varying lengths of time. It ranged from several years to decades. A total 5,857 cases of ovarian cancer occurred during the observational periods.

The researchers found that ‘alcohol consumption had little to no effect on ovarian cancer incidence when compared to non-drinkers.’ This included low, moderate and high consumption levels.

This is consistent with other research. Leading cancer groups around the world conclude drinking is not associated with ovarian cancer. They include

  • National Cancer Institute (US)
  • Cancer Research (UK)
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology

Source: Yan Hong, H., et al.  Association between alcohol consumption and the risk of ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. BMC Pub Health, 2015, 15, 223. doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1355-

III. Resources on Ovarian Cancer

Web Pages

Drinking and Women’s Health.

Alcohol and Total Health Risk among Women.

Alcohol and Health.

Readings

Clark-Hansen, L. Please Send Hats. One Baby Boomer’s Rude Awakening to Ovarian Cancer. Waukesha, WI: Orange, 2018.

Fisanick, C. Ovarian Cancer. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2012.

Martin, U. One Woman Walks Wales. Dinas Powrys, Wales: Honno, 2018. (The story of an ovarian cancer patient’s walk across Wales to publicize the need for early detection of the disease.) 

Peterson, S. It Isn’t Ugly Forever: a To-do List for Fighting Cancer. Columbia, SC: Peterson, 2018.

Price, L. Ovarian Cancer: Risks, Prevention and Treatment. NY: Hayle, 2018.