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This paper presents a review of the scientific literature investigating the epidemiology of epithelial ovarian cancer. Epithelial ovarian cancer is an important cause of cancer death among women in industrialized countries, and incidence increases with age. It is more common among women of low parity and among those with a family history of the disease. Oral contraceptive use, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and sterilization have all been shown to protect against epithelial ovarian cancer, while the role of other reproductive and environmental factors, such as infertility, fertility drugs and hormone replacement therapy, is less clear. The evidence to date is discussed in this review.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Gynecological Cancer

Publication Date





425 - 438