The question many women who have a family history of ovarian cancer, and who are therefore at higher risk of developing the disease themselves ask is - am I safer having my ovaries removed?
The operation also reduces the risk of breast cancer
Gynaecological Oncologist and Ovarian Cancer Expert, Dr Adam Rosenthal says, "This situation requires expert advice form a gynaecologist with a special interest in this area of medicine. Most gynaecological oncologists (gynaecologists specialising in the treatment of cancer) have experience of advising women with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. In many cases, it is appropriate to offer such women a ‘keyhole’ operation to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent the development of cancer".
What is the recommendation with regard to timing?
The advice is that the ovaries and fallopian tubes usually need to be removed before the menopause and therefore women may need to take hormone replacement therapy (which is safe in this situation) to prevent unpleasant symptoms and reduce their future risk of osteoporosis.
Also reduces risk of Breast Cancer
Dr Rosenthal explains,"The operation can also reduce the risk of breast cancer substantially. Clinical Genetics teams usually work closely with expert gynaecologists and can refer you to them. Alternatively, your GP can refer you to a local gynaecologist with a special interest in this area".
The time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle, and her periods ceaseFull medical glossary