Ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer in women worldwide and is the most serious gynaecological cancer.
Approximately 15% of cases of ovarian cancer are due to family history. Family history means having a close blood relation (mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, granddaughter, aunt or niece) on either your mother’s or father’s side of the family who has had breast cancer before 50 years of age or ovarian cancer at any age.
For women without a family history, the biggest risk factor is age.
It is important to talk to your doctor to determine what your own personal risk may be. If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer as described above, you may wish to seek genetic counselling. In fact, there is a recent shift in thinking that any woman with ovarian cancer should also seek genetic counselling as an important step for herself and other members of her family. Ask your doctor about the services available in your area, or contact your local cancer organization for more information.