What are the risk factors for ovarian cancer?
All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but some women appear to be at a greater risk. The following factors may contribute to an increased risk:
- A family history of breast, ovarian, or colorectal cancer, which accounts for 5 to 10 percent of cases.
- Women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations have a 60% chance of being diagnosed with ovarian, breast, or colon cancer.
- Women who have never had children are at a higher risk. Preventive measures may include taking birth control pills for five years or more.
- Women of Eastern European or Ashkenazi Jewish heritage may be genetically predisposed to ovarian cancer.