Who is at risk for ovarian cancer?

David A. Fishman, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
There is no way to know for sure if you will get ovarian cancer. Most women with ovarian cancer are not at high risk. However, several factors may increase your risk for ovarian cancer, including if you:
  • Are over 40. Ovarian cancer generally strikes after age 40, with the greatest number of cases occurring in women age 60 and 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 a genetic mutation such as breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1), breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2), or other mutations associated with an increased risk such as those seen with colon cancer syndromes
  • Have had breast, uterine or colorectal (colon) cancer
  • Have an Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish background
  • Have never given birth or have had trouble getting pregnant
  • Have endometriosis, a condition in which tissue from the lining of the uterus grows elsewhere in the body

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.