Only a small number of cancers are linked to genetic causes and only a small number of gynaecological cancers such as ovarian and womb (uterine) cancers run in families. The precise risk of developing these cancers will depend on your full family history. Doctors will examine your family tree with particular attention to the age of your relatives and the precise type of cancer they were diagnosed with. There are many types of ovarian cancer and only some are potentially inherited.
Genetic testing is not infallible and the knowledge of your genetic make-up can have profound implications for you and your family. Consequently, the decision to have a test requires expert counselling. The specialist genetic service will have a set of criteria that they have to follow so that the can provide genetic testing free on the NHS. Other tests are available outside the NHS and your doctor or hospital clinical nurse specialist should be able to give you the best advice on how appropriate this is.