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 risk 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:
You never had a baby.
You started your menstrual cycles before age 12 and went through menopause after age 50.