Thursday, June 1, 2023
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Factors That May Increase Ovarian Cancer Risk

There is no way to know for sure if you will get ovarian cancer. Most women get it without being at high risk.

However, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several factors may increase a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer. If you:

  • Are middle-aged or older.
  • Have close family members (such as your mother, sister, aunt, or grandmother) on either your mother’s or your father’s side, who have had ovarian cancer.
  • Have had breast, uterine, or colorectal (colon) cancer.
  • Have endometriosis (a condition where tissue from the lining of the uterus grows elsewhere in the body).
  • Have a genetic mutation (abnormality) called BRCA1 or BRCA2, or one associated with Lynch syndrome.
  • Have an Eastern European or Ashkenazi Jewish background.
  • Have never given birth or have had trouble getting pregnant.

Some studies suggest that women who take estrogen by itself (without progesterone) for 10 or more years may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

If one or more of these factors are true for you, it does not mean you will get ovarian cancer. However, you should speak with your doctor about your risk. You will also want to talk to your doctor about genetic counseling if you or your family has a history of ovarian cancer.

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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