Ovarian Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Risk Factors May Explain Racial Differences in Incidence

By: Joseph Cupolo
Posted: Friday, July 31, 2020

According to cancer disparities data presented during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting II (Abstract 1180/12), among patients with epithelial ovarian cancer, there appear to be “notable differences” in the population-attributable risks of several risk factors by race. According to Lauren C. Peres, PhD, MPH, of Moffit Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, and colleagues, differences in the prevalence of known and suspected ovarian cancer risk factors may play a role in the differences in incidence among different racial/ethnic groups.

The focus of the study was the comparison of 3,249 cases of ovarian cancer in white women and 9,650 controls to 1,054 cases of ovarian cancer in Black women and 2,410 controls. The investigators reported that Black women had a statistically significantly higher number of population attributable risks for family history of breast cancer and body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30kg/m2 compared with white women (10.0% vs. 2.5% and 8.9% vs. 0.4%, respectively). Although not statistically significant, white women had a higher number of population attributable risks for oral contraceptive use (duration < 5 years) and not having had a tubal ligation than Black women. Accordingly, when all risk factors were evaluated collectively, the overall population attributable risk factor was 63.9% for Black women and 48.0% for white women.

The investigators indicated the association among each known or suspected ovarian cancer risk factor was estimated using logistic regression. The risk factors included age, parity, oral contraceptive use, tubal ligation, BMI, family history of ovarian and breast cancers, menopausal status, education, hysterectomy, aspirin use, talcum powder applied to genital areas, endometriosis, and age at menarche.

The investigators concluded: “Although important across both racial groups, collectively, the factors studied accounted for slightly more of the ovarian cancer risk among Black women than white women.”

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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