What causes ovarian cancer?

There is no exact cause for ovarian cancer. Healthy cells can acquire a genetic change (mutation) that causes them to turn into abnormal, cancerous cells. These cancer cells grow and multiply out of control, and they don't die. The accumulating cells form a tumor which can break off to spread (metastasize) and invade nearby tissues. Some mutations (changes in genes) can raise your risk for ovarian cancer. Mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility genes 1 and 2 (BRCA1 and BRCA2), and those associated with Lynch syndrome, raise ovarian cancer risk.
ovarian cancer researcher

  • "Ovarian Cancer Prevention." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 June 2014. Web. 03 May 2017.
  • "Ovarian Cancer." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 09 Feb. 2017. Web. 03 May 2017.


From Our Blog: Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer
BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer genes 1 and 2) are the best-known genes linked to breast cancer. Women who inherit a mutation in these genes, from either their mother or father, have a much higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Ten percent of breast cancers in the US are linked to an inherited gene mutation.
genetic testing for breast cancer infographic



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