Ovarian cancer and genetic testing

As a gynaecologic oncologist, I often get asked by patients and families if ovarian cancer runs in families or if it is genetically inherited. The answer is both yes, and no. Before I go into the genetics, I should first give a little background information on the disease. Ovarian cancer is a rare disease. It affects about 1 in 100 women during their lifetime. This is compared to a lifetime risk of about 1 in 8 of developing breast cancer. By far and away, the most common cause of death in women from cancer in Australia is smoking related lung cancer. The problem with ovarian cancer is that, despite many advances in medicine, it remains a high mortality disease. Every year in Australia

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