Risk Factors Associated With Ovarian Cancer

All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, with 1 in 75 women developing this disease in her lifetime. Some women may have personal or familial factors which further increase or reduce this risk.

While many women with ovarian cancer do not have any known risk factors, some do exist. If a woman has one or more risk factors, she will not necessarily develop ovarian cancer; however, her risk may be higher than the average woman’s.

These factors may increase your risk of developing ovarian cancer:

  • Family or personal history of ovarian, breast or colon cancer
  • Not bearing children
  • Obesity
  • Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish heritage
  • Endometriosis
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Increasing age

These factors may reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer:

  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Pregnancy
  • Breast Feeding
  • Tubal Ligation
  • Hysterectomy
  • Surgical removal of ovaries and/or fallopian tubes