The aim of this work was to review the available literature on occupational risk factors associated with ovarian cancer. A PubMed search was performed using an algorithm with the following search terms: ovary, ovarian, exposure, work, occupation. Relevant articles were selected through assessment of titles and abstracts as well as through the reference lists of related articles. A total of 54 studies were selected for this review, including 17 studies on asbestos exposure and risk of ovarian cancer and, 16 studies on other occupational factors (5 cohort studies and 11 case control studies). An increased risk of ovarian cancer has been reported for several occupations (teachers, administration employees, nurses, religious workers) and various industrial sectors (biomedical research, telephony industry, hairdresser and beautician, printing factories) with inconsistent results. Moreover, in many of these studies, individual risk factors of ovarian cancers were not considered. Despite methodological limitations of published studies, a significantly increased risk for ovarian cancer associated with asbestos exposure have been consistently reported.
Keywords: asbestos; cancer; exposure; occupation; ovarian; work.