Like other types of cancer, the leading cause of ovarian cancer is unknown. However, a small percentage of the cases of this disease is known to occur in women as a result of inherited gene mutation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and other genes related to family cancer syndromes such as PTEN tumor hamartoma syndrome, STK11, and MUTYH.

Some cases are also associated with acquired genetic changes. This may come as a result of environmental changes. These changes include; radiation or cancer-causing chemicals. However, research made has not indicated or linked any chemical in the environment to mutations that cause ovarian cancer.

What Are The Risk Factors For Ovarian Cancer?

Since the primary cause of this cancer of the ovary is not clear, we need to depend on the several risk factors of ovarian cancer to prevent it. However, one having any of the risk factors does not mean that you will suffer the disease. Furthermore, some people who get the disease may not have had any of the risk factors.

Common Risk Factors Of Ovarian Cancer (1)

Age: Most cases of this type of cancer are likely to occur in older women than in younger women. It mostly occurs after menopause; a condition that is in older women.

Obesity: Women with a body mass index of at least 30 are obese. This kind of women tends to have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Use Of Birth Control Pills: Women who use contraceptives also known as birth control pills have a lower risk of developing cancer of the ovary. This can also decrease primarily after 3 to 6 months of using the pill.

Reproductive History: Women who tend to have their first full-term pregnancy or never carried a pregnancy to term also have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.

History Of Breast Cancer: If you happen to have had breast cancer before, this may lead to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Some of the risks associated with this disease include interference with breast and leading to breast cancer.

Androgens: Androgens are male hormones, and the main androgen is danazol (a drug that increases the androgen levels). Women who have taken danazol have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.

Gynecologic Surgery: A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus without removing the ovaries while tubal ligation is the process of having your tubes tied. Medical experts have stated that these procedures may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

Other risk factors include (2)

  • Estrogen and hormonal therapy
  • Family history of this cancer of the ovary
  • Family cancer syndrome
  • Talcum powder
  • Smoking and use of alcohol
  • Diet
  • Analgesics


American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance. (n.d.). Retrieved from