There is a gene that some women have that when mutated can become deadly. The BRCA1 gene is responsible for an 80% higher risk of getting [email protected] cancer, and a 40% higher risk of getting ovarian cancer. Those are some scary statistics. Hollywood star Angelina Jolie found out that she had this gene mutation and underwent a double mastectomy (removal of the [email protected]) to try and prevent her from ever getting [email protected] cancer. New research is showing that if women want to protect themselves against the potentially deadly effects of this mutation they should undergo an oophorectomy as well which is when the ovaries are removed.
The Journal of Clinical Oncology says that women that have their ovaries removed and have either the BRCA1 or the BRCA2 gene mutation were able to reduce their risk of getting cancer by 80%. There were 5,783 women that were involved in a study that took place over and average of 5.6 years. They had the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Out of those women, 2,100 had already had their ovaries taken out before the study was conducted. After the study started another 1,390 women underwent the surgery.
Steven Narod M.D. said that getting an oophorectomy may also be good for women who have had [email protected] cancer in the past 5-10 years and may add more years to their lives. Researchers said that it is not completely clear at this type why removing the ovaries reduces the risk of [email protected] cancer but they believe that it is because of the hormones that are released from the ovaries which are testosterone and estrogen.
Due to these studies experts are recommending that women who are 35 or over should have their ovaries removed if they have the BRCA1 mutation. This is a tough decision for some women because they are not done having children yet. It also brings on early menopause. It is suggested that you see a genetic counselor to go over your options if you have the mutation.