Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Ovarian Cancer Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

What Increases Your Risk

A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of getting a disease such as cancer. The main risk factors for ovarian cancer include:

  • Having a family history of ovarian cancer. Having a mother, sister, or daughter who has had ovarian cancer will raise your risk. And if you have two close relatives with cancer, you will have a higher risk.
  • Inheriting gene changes. A small number of women with a family history of cancer have inherited gene changes, such as the BRCA gene changes. Having certain gene changes can put a woman at the highest riskslideshow.gif for ovarian cancer.

But most women who get ovarian cancer do not have these risk factors.

Ovarian cancer most often affects postmenopausal women. You may also be more likely to get this cancer if:

Some things that lower a woman's risk for ovarian cancer include:

If you have a strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer, you may want to talk with your doctor or a genetic counselor about having a blood test to look for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene changes.

Breast Cancer Risk: Should I Have a BRCA Gene Test?

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Ovarian cancer illustration
What are the symptoms?
doctory with x-ray
Get to know the Symptoms.
cancer cell
HPV is the top cause. Find out more.
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
Integrative Medicine Cancer Quiz
Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
Screening Tests for Women
Graphic of ovaries within reproductive system
Ovarian Cancer Marker
Pets Improve Your Health
Vitamin D
Healthy meal with salmon