Mothers can instantly turn into protective mama bears when it comes to their children’s health, but not everything is controllable. A child will always inherit her family’s medical history, which may include ovarian cancer. Of course, this doesn’t mean your daughter is bound to develop ovarian cancer . Many people have a family history of cancer, yet don’t develop it themselves. The doctors at Sunrise Children’s Hospital always welcome parents to share their concerns with us. There is nothing more important to us than your child’s health and safety, which is why we offer specialized pediatric care, including cancer care.
Understanding the risk factors of cancer
There are risk factors for every type of cancer, including ovarian. A risk factor is anything that might increase the likelihood of developing a disease. However, some people develop a disease without being at a high risk of it, and others with strong risk factors stay healthy.
Ovarian cancer can run in families. Your daughter’s risk may increase if you were diagnosed with it. Similarly, your risk increases if your daughter is diagnosed.
Assessing cancer in your family history
The risk of getting a disease can be assessed based on the degree of relative that is diagnosed. First-degree relatives are parents, children and siblings, while second-degree relatives are aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents and grandchildren.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer is considered to be strong if she has one or more first-degree or second-degree relatives with ovarian cancer. The risk is also strong if any of the following apply regarding first-or second-degree relatives.
- Primary cancer of both breasts
- Triple negative breast cancer in a woman diagnosed at age 60 or younger
- Women ages 45 or younger diagnosed with breast cancer
- Breast and ovarian cancer in the same person
Putting a family history of cancer into perspective
It can be upsetting to think about your daughter’s risk of cancer. You might want to talk to her pediatrician about your concerns. Remember that family history is just one risk factor—many other issues can influence cancer risk.
The majority of pediatric cancer cases in Southern Nevada are treated at Pediatric Oncology and Special Services at Sunrise Children’s Hospital . Our cancer care team is devoted to providing supportive care within a comforting environment for our young patients. You can request a referral to a pediatric specialist in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.