Researchers track ovarian cancer smoking risks

In collaboration with the Press Association

A major long-term study of 100,000 women in Scandinavia has suggested a link between smoking and ovarian cancer.

While the link between tobacco and many other cancers has been known for decades, most studies until now have failed to uncover a link to ovarian cancer.

The increase in risk of developing ovarian cancer associated with tobacco is significant, but small compared to the tobacco associated risk of developing other diseases such as heart disease and lung cancer.

"Our study shows consistent results for the association between both current and former smoking and the risk of invasive or borderline ovarian cancer," said Dr Inger Gram of the University of Tromso and lead author of the research.

Smokers who took part in the study, which was presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, were shown to be a slight increase in their likelihood of developing ovarian cancer.

Ex-smokers had a slightly smaller increase in risk. The increase in risk was highest in those who had smoked for longest.

The analysis took a range of other factors into account, including age, number of children, oral contraceptive use and hormone therapy use.

Find out more about smoking and cancer risk