Good Health Blog

My mother had a womens cancer? Am I at risk?

- August 15, 2011

If your mother or sister had cervical cancer, your chances of developing the disease are increased by 2 to 3 times. Some researchers suspect that some instances of this familial tendency are caused by an inherited condition that makes some women less able to fight off HPV infection than others. In other instances, women from the same family as a patient already diagnosed may be more likely to have one or more of the other non-genetic risk factors.

If one of your relatives has had ovarian cancer, this can raise your chance over the baseline risk:
* the average woman has a 1% (1 in 70) lifetime risk of ovarian cancer
* having one first degree relative with ovarian cancer (mother, sister or daughter) gives a 5% lifetime risk for ovarian cancer
* having two first degree relatives increases the lifetime risk to 20-30%.

With the above family history it is recommended you establish a complete family history with medical records if possible. Armed with all the information possible, obtain good genetic counseling and consider screening as directed by your Doctors.