The type of ovarian cancer you have helps determine your prognosis and treatment options.
Certain factors may increase your risk of ovarian cancer. Having one or more of these risk factors doesn’t mean that you’re sure to develop ovarian cancer, but your risk may be higher than that of the average woman. These risk factors include:
Inherited gene mutations.
A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by an inherited gene mutation. The genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes were originally identified in families with multiple cases of breast cancer, which is how they got their names, but these mutations also have a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer. Another known genetic link involves an inherited syndrome called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). People in HNPCC families are at increased risk of cancers of the uterine lining (endometrium), colon, ovary, and stomach.