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Is ovarian cancer hereditary?

By Nancy Kupka, PhD, RN Oct 28, 2022 • 2 min

Ovarian cancer causes are not well understood, but there are some known risk factors.

Women who have a mother, daughter or sister with ovarian cancer or certain other genetic changes, such as testing positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, are at a higher risk for developing ovarian cancer. The risk of ovarian cancer is also increased in women who have certain inherited symptoms or conditions, including:

  • Familial site-specific ovarian cancer syndrome
  • Familiar breast/ovarian cancer syndrome
  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) ,or Lynch syndrome

You can use genetic testing and counseling to find out more about your likelihood for developing ovarian cancer. This testing should be ordered and interpreted by someone who specializes in this, as the results from home testing kits are not sufficient.

Clinically reviewed and updated by Julie McDaniel, MSN, RN, CRNI, October 2022.

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