The epidemiology of ovarian cancer
This paper reviews evidence on the distribution of ovarian cancer in the community and on the characteristics of women who develop ovarian cancer. In general these data highlight the importance of the repeated stimulation of the ovary by "incessant ovulation" in the aetiology of the malignancy - factors such as pregnancy and oral contraceptive use which suppress ovulation protect against ovarian cancer. The increasing incidence of ovarian cancer in many Western countries has probably resulted from the decreasing average number of children born to successive generations of women. © 1980.