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  • Writer's pictureWomen's Cancer Research Foundation

Ovarian Cancer Incidence and Death in Women Undergoing Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

Updated: Jan 12


Opportunistic (elective) bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries) is routinely offered to patients undergoing benign hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) to prevent ovarian cancer, but the magnitude of risk reduction obtained with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy remains unclear and must be weighed against the potential risks of ovarian hormone deficiency (a major risk factor for #osteoporosis in #postmenopausal women).

The study involved adult women (≥20 years) undergoing benign hysterectomy from 1996 to 2010 in Ontario, Canada. The researchers identified 195,282 patients with a median age of 45 years who were followed for a median follow-up of 16 years. The study results indicated that 548 patients developed ovarian cancer (0.3%), and 16,170 patients (8.3%) died from any cause. Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy was associated with an absolute ovarian cancer risk reduction of 0.38%.

Population-average risk estimates derived in this study should be balanced against other potential implications of bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to inform practice guidelines, patient decision-making, and surgical management.

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The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of the most active research organizations in the nation. We are dedicated to studying and evaluating novel treatments for women afflicted with breast, ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancers. The WCRF persistently endeavors to make a difference in women’s lives by offering them hope, strength, and progress.

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