Risk factors for ovarian cancer

Every year approximately 1,500 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, most of them in an advanced stage of the disease. A number of risk factors are linked to an increased chance of developing ovarian cancer, including age, family history, changes in genes, early onset of periods, late menopause, childlessness, infertility, first child after 30, never taking oral contraceptives, and using oestrogen only hormone replacement therapy or fertility treatment.


The CA125 blood test CA125 can be used to help diagnose or exclude ovarian cancer. CA125 is a protein found in the blood and can be produced by ovarian cancer cells. However, there are other causes for raised CA125 levels such as menstruation, endometriosis or ovarian cysts.

The CA125 test is more reliable in post menopausal women. Half of all women with early stage ovarian cancer do not have elevated CA125 levels. It is for these reasons CA125 is not recommended as a screening test for women with no symptoms.

What we test

Ovarian Tumour Marker

This ovarian cancer test screens for the cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) which is a protein found in the blood and can be produced by ovarian cancer cells. It can also be detected due to other conditions which are not cancerous, so care is needed in evaluating a positive result.

This ovarian cancer test measures:

A protein present in many cases of ovarian cancer and in some cases of endometrial cancer.

Test instructions

Print out the pathology form that we email you.

Take your form to your local collection centre to have your sample taken - no need for an appointment.

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