Overcoming Racial Inequality in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Research


Danja Sarink, PhD, discusses the importance of studying race and ethnicity in epithelial ovarian cancer research.

Danja Sarink, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow, ​Department of Cancer Epidemiology, University of Hawai’​i Cancer Center, discusses the importance of studying race and ethnicity in epithelial ovarian cancer research.

​Epithelial ovarian cancer is a rare disease and most cohort studies only have a small proportion of non-White women, making it hard to evaluate risk factors for these women in prospective studies, says Sarink.

​However, a recent study led by Sarink evaluated the incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer across different ethnic groups ​including Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, and Latinas.

The study found that Native Hawaiian women had an increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer compared with Caucasian women, while Japanese Americans and Latinas had a decreased risk. Differences in risk factors, such as parity or exogenous hormone use, between racial/ethnic groups did not explain these differences in epithelial ovarian cancer risk.

As such, there ​remains a need to conduct further research in this space, Sarink concludes.

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