Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer: Is There a Link and How Involved is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Asbestos Exposure & Bans
Reading Time: 2 mins
Publication Date: 05/26/2011
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite’s Article


Franz, F. (2020, October 16). Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer: Is There a Link and How Involved is Peritoneal Mesothelioma? Retrieved October 7, 2022, from


Franz, Faith. "Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer: Is There a Link and How Involved is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?", 16 Oct 2020,


Franz, Faith. "Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer: Is There a Link and How Involved is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?" Last modified October 16, 2020.

Classified as a human carcinogen, asbestos is responsible for the development of several cancers, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Research has suggested that a number of other cancers such as gastrointestinal, kidney, throat and gallbladder cancer can be caused by exposure to asbestos, but they are still the subject of investigation. A 2011 study conducted by the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research sought to explore the correlation between asbestos and ovarian cancer.

Unlike malignant mesothelioma, ovarian cancer has not been conclusively linked to asbestos exposure. Because asbestos exposure most commonly occurred at jobsites where males traditionally made up the majority of the workforce, women were less frequently exposed to asbestos than men. As a result, the incidence of asbestos-induced cancers in women is fairly low. The small number of ovarian cancer cases among patients with a history of asbestos exposure has made it difficult for researchers to prove or disprove a correlation between asbestos and ovarian cancer.

This Australian study reviewed 14 previous cohort studies and two case-control studies that were completed between 1950 and 2008. The researchers determined that exposure-response relationships between asbestos exposure and ovarian cancer were inconsistent. However, when compared to healthy reference populations, an increased number of women with ovarian cancer reported a history of asbestos exposure. Excess mortality was noted in four of these cohort studies.

This elevated incidence, however, may have been skewed by previous misdiagnosis. When the studies were originally completed, a number of these patients were said to have ovarian cancer with secondary peritoneal mesothelioma tumors. Yet a re-examination of the pathology specimens determined that some of the ovarian cancer patients may have actually had peritoneal mesotheliomas as the primary tumor and secondary involvement of the ovaries.

After re-analyzing the samples, it was determined that in two of the studies, a number of women who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer were actually dealing with peritoneal mesothelioma as the original tumor. This effectively reduced the number of ovarian cancer patients who had a history of asbestos exposure. At present, more evidence must be provided to declare a direct link between asbestos and ovarian cancer.

Free Mesothelioma Resources
Get Access to Free Resources for Patients & Loved Ones