Ovarian Cancer Articles
What are the risk factors for ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer risk factors
While the exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown, some risk factors are linked to a higher rate of developing ovarian cancer. These risk factors for ovarian cancer include:
- Older age. Most cases of ovarian cancer occur in post-menopausal women over the age of 55. About 65% of ovarian cancers are found in women over the age of 55.
- Family history and genetics. A family history of ovarian or breast cancer can increase the risk by 3x. Women with the BRCA1 gene mutation have a 40% lifetime risk, while women with the BRCA2 gene mutation have a 20% lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer. Overall, 10% of ovarian cancers are found in women with a BRCA gene mutation.
- Hormone replacement therapy. Women who have used HRT for 5 or more years, especially in women who took estrogen without progesterone.
- Infertility or not having children. Women who have not been pregnant have higher rates of ovarian cancer.
- High body mass index. Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Obese women also have lower rates of survival from ovarian cancer.