Understanding the risk factors of ovarian cancer?
If two or more relatives have had ovarian cancer under the age of 50, or there has been more than one case of ovarian and breast cancer in your family, you may have inherited a BRCA1/2 gene mutation, meaning you have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. The BRCA1/2 gene mutations are associated with an up to 60% chance of developing ovarian cancer.
If you are concerned about your risk, due to family history, Ovarian Cancer Action have developed, in partnership with genetics experts at the Royal Marsden, the Hereditary Cancer Risk Tool. The tool helps people identify if their family history puts them at risk of ovarian and other cancers, as well as the risk-reducing options available.
Ovarian Cancer Action have information, advice and support available through their BRCA Hub.
Around 84% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in women over the age of 50, however, women can get ovarian cancer at any age, so it is vital women of all ages are symptom aware.
Long menstrual history
Ovarian cancer is linked to increased ovulations, meaning those who started their periods earlier, have reached the menopause at a later age, or never given birth, could be at a higher risk.
Research shows that women who have endometriosis are at increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Research shows that a small percentage (around 1%) of women using oestrogen-only or combined, are at an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Women should discuss all risks and benefits with their consultant when making decisions about HRT.