Family history and the risk of ovarian cancer

Bar graph of family history and ovarian cancer risk

On average, 2 out of 100 women will get ovarian cancer. If someone in your family has had ovarian cancer, your chances of getting it may be higher than average. The more relatives you have with ovarian cancer, the more your chances go up.

Sometimes a very strong family history of ovarian cancer is caused by a mutated gene that runs in the family. The gene is called a BRCA gene. Women who inherit this gene change are more likely to get breast or ovarian cancer.

Last Updated: June 15, 2009

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine & Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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