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Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

A risk factor is something that raises a person's chances of getting a disease or health problem. A person can have ovarian cancer with or without the risks below. The more risks a person has, the greater the chances are.

The most common risk factors, gender and age, cannot be changed. Ovarian cancer is more common in women over 60 years old. However, it can happen in younger women.

Other things that may raise the risk are:

Medical History


  • Ovarian epithelial, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/ovarian/patient/ovarian-epithelial-treatment-pdq. Accessed March 29, 2022.
  • Ovarian cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/ovarian-cancer. Accessed March 29, 2022.
  • Ovarian cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/gynecologic-tumors/ovarian-cancer. Accessed March 29, 2022.
  • Ovarian cancer risk factors. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html. Accessed March 29, 2022.


  • Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.