Indiana's Nonprofit Resource & Education Organization for OVARIAN CANCER
Caregivers & Families
Ovar'coming Together, Inc.
2625 N. Meridian Street, Suite #108, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Toll Free: 855-855-OVAR | Ph: 317-925-6643 | Fax: 317-925-6673
Copyright © 2019 Ovar'coming Together, Inc. All rights reserved.
Every woman is at a small risk for developing ovarian cancer. If a woman has one or more risk factors, she will not necessarily develop ovarian cancer, however her risk may be higher than the average woman's.
These factors may increase your risk for ovarian cancer:
1. Increasing Age -- Ovarian cancer can strike at any age, but risk increases after
2. Infertility, or having multiple exposures to fertility drugs
3. Having a long ovulation history (i.e., uninterrupted menstrual cycles) resulting from
menstruating at an early age (before 12); not giving birth to children; having a first
child after age 30; or having never taken oral contraceptives.
4. Being of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
5. Having a personal history of breast, endometrial or colon cancer
Having 2 or more close relatives with ovarian cancer
Having a family history of ovarian, breast or colon cancer
About 10 to 15 percent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a hereditary tendency to develop the disease. The most significant risk factor for ovarian cancer is an inherited genetic mutation in one of two genes: breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) or breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes are responsible for about 5 to 10 percent of all ovarian cancers.
Eastern European women and women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at a higher risk of carrying BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Since these genes are linked to both breast and ovarian cancer, women who have had breast cancer have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Women who have one first-degree relative with ovarian cancer but no known genetic mutation still have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. The lifetime risk of a woman who has a first degree relative with ovarian cancer is five percent (the average woman’s lifetime risk is 1.4 percent).
Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer
Watch a mini-documentary about the gene mutation and the benefits of knowing your family history.