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New recommendations are specific to a woman's individual risk for developing ovarian cancer

-- Beth Gilbert

Friday, September 24, 2010 (Last Updated: 09/27/2010)

FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists has released recommendations for the performance of prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) based on a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer. The recommendations have been published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jonathan S. Berek, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues reviewed studies pertaining to prophylactic BSO in women at average risk of ovarian cancer who were undergoing hysterectomy for benign disease. The investigators also reviewed the role of prophylactic BSO in preventing ovarian cancer based on a patient's level of risk.

The investigators found that several studies indicated an overall negative health effect when patients underwent a prophylactic BSO prior to menopause. The authors write that women at high risk of ovarian cancer, including those with a family history of ovarian or breast cancer and those with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, should undergo risk-reducing BSO after childbearing is complete. They recommend that the decision regarding BSO should be individualized for women at average risk, and that, for those with a personal or strong family history of cardiovascular or neurological disease, ovarian conservation before menopause may be important.

"For women at average risk of ovarian cancer who are undergoing a hysterectomy for benign conditions, the decision to perform prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy should be individualized after appropriate informed consent, including a careful analysis of personal risk factors," the authors write.

One author's spouse is an employee of Merck.

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Specialties OBGYN & Women's Health
Hematology & Oncology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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