The Risk of Ovarian Cancer Increases with an Increase in the Lifetime Number of Ovulatory Cycles: An Analysis from the Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium (OC3)

Britton Trabert*, Shelley S. Tworoger, Katie M. O'Brien, Mary K. Townsend, Renee T. Fortner, Edwin S. Iversen, Patricia Hartge, Emily White, Pilar Amiano, Alan A. Arslan, Leslie Bernstein, Louise A. Brinton, Julie E. Buring, Laure Dossus, Gary E. Fraser, Mia M. Gaudet, Graham G. Giles, Inger T. Gram, Holly R. Harris, Judith Hoffman BoltonAnnika Idahl, Michael E. Jones, Rudolf Kaaks, Victoria A. Kirsh, Synnove F. Knutsen, Marina Kvaskoff, James Lacey, I-Min Lee, Roger L. Milne, N. Charlotte Onland-Moret, Kim Overvad, Alpa Patel, Ulrike Peters, Jenny N. Poynter, Elio Riboli, Kim Robien, Thomas E. Rohan, Dale P. Sandler, Catherine Schairer, Leo J. Schouten, Veronica W. Setiawan, Anthony J. Swerdlow, Ruth C. Travis, Antonia Trichopoulou, Piet A. van den Brandt, Kala Visvanathan, Lynne R. Wilkens, Alicja Wolk, Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Nicolas Wentzensen, Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium OC3

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Repeated exposure to the acute proinflammatory environment that follows ovulation at the ovarian surface and distal fallopian tube over a woman's reproductive years may increase ovarian cancer risk. To address this, analyses included individual-level data from 558,709 naturally menopausal women across 20 prospective cohorts, among whom 3,246 developed invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (2,045 serous, 319 endometrioid, 184 mucinous, 121 clear cell, 577 other/unknown). Cox models were used to estimate multivariable-adjusted HRs between lifetime ovulatory cycles (LOC) and its components and ovarian cancer risk overall and by histotype. Women in the 90th percentile of LOC (>514 cycles) were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer than women in the 10th percentile (

Significance: Although ovarian cancer is rare, risk of most ovarian cancers doubles as the number of lifetime ovulatory cycles increases from approximately 300 to 500. Thus, identifying an important area for cancer prevention research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1218
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • MUTANT P53

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