Risk Factors

Like any cancer, why one woman gets ovarian cancer and another does not remains a mystery.

  • Women of any age are at risk, however risk increases with age.
  • If you have a personal or family history of ovarian, breast, colon, rectal or uterine cancer.
  • If you have not borne a child.
  • Personal history of endometriosis.
  • 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 10 to 15 percent of all ovarian cancers.

Eastern European women and women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at a higher risk of carrying these mutations.

The overwhelming majority of women who get ovarian cancer have no known risk factors.