Ovary removal can better odds for women with cancer gene

BRCA positive women have women have a substantially increased risk of contracting breast or ovarian cancer.
Posted By Aileen Graef  |  Feb. 24, 2014 at 5:16 PM
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TORONTO, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- According to a Canadian study, women with BRCA gene mutations could sharply improve their chances of long-term survival by getting their ovaries removed by age 35.

The study from the University of Toronto followed a group of almost 6,000 women who had their breasts, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes removed after receiving a positive test result for the BRCA mutations and found that their survival chances increased significantly.

The study showed that the ovary removal reduced the risk of getting ovarian cancer by 80 percent, reduced the risk of dying before the age of 70 by 77 percent, and reduced lifetime risk of getting ovarian cancer to about 1 percent. The research shows that between ages 35 and 40, the risk increases by only about one percent but after 40, the risk increases substantially making the decision best made before age 40.

The decision isn't simple as the removal of a woman's ovaries will make her infertile and send her into menopause prematurely. Any women considering the procedure should make the decision with consultation from their doctor and possibly a genetic counselor.

[WSJ Live]

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