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Home Industry News Ovary removal to prevent cancer ‘should largely be discouraged’

Ovary removal to prevent cancer ‘should largely be discouraged’

4th October 2016

New research has offered evidence that removing the ovaries as a preventative measure against ovarian cancer should generally not be recommended.

The Mayo Clinic study has indicated that women under 46 who have both ovaries removed are at greater risk of multiple chronic health conditions, including depression, hyperlipidaemia, cardiac arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and osteoporosis.

This came after the team analysed data from 1,653 women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy – removal of both ovaries – and an equal number of women of the same age who did not.

Oestrogen therapy reduced some of the risk in women who had undergone the procedure, suggesting the premature loss of oestrogen associated with oophorectomies may affect natural ageing mechanisms at the cellular and tissue level.

The researchers concluded that the effects of oophorectomy in premenopausal women are much broader and more severe than previously documented.

Dr Walter Rocca, lead author of the study, said: "In the absence of a documented high-risk genetic variant, bilateral oophorectomy before the age of 50 years (or before menopause) is never to be considered and should not be offered as an option to women."

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