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Family History and Risk of Ovarian Cancer

William Foulkes, MB, PhD; Gordon Glendon, MSc; Steven Narod, MD
JAMA. 1995;274(5):383. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530050031022.
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To the Editor.  —The recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Conference1 on ovarian cancer provides physicians with the current consensus regarding the screening, treatment, and follow-up of this disease. Therefore, it is important that this document should be as accurate as possible and reflect the opinions of the experts in the field. We agree that a woman has about a 5% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer if she has a first-degree relative affected with ovarian cancer. For example, in Great Britain, one in 120 women develops ovarian cancer. With one affected first-degree relative, the lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is one in 40 (2.5%), representing a relative risk of 3.2 In North America, one in 70 women (1.4%) is affected by ovarian cancer, and the relative risk associated with one affected first-degree relative is about 4, giving a lifetime risk of 5.7%.3,4 However, we disagree with


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