Risk of Cancer after Premenopausal Bilateral Oophorectomy
Hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus) is one of the most frequent gynecologic surgeries in the United States. Women undergoing hysterectomy are commonly offered a bilateral oophorectomy (the surgical removal of the ovaries) for ovarian and breast cancer prevention.
Hysterectomy is one of the most frequent gynecologic surgeries in the United States.
Although bilateral oophorectomy may dramatically reduce the risk of gynecologic cancers, studies have suggested that bilateral oophorectomy may be associated with an increased risk of other types of cancer, such as lung cancer and colorectal cancer. However, the results are conflicting. A recent study investigated the association between bilateral oophorectomy and the risk of subsequent cancer of any type in premenopausal women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy for a nonmalignant indication before the age of 50.
Over a median follow-up of 18 years, the risk of any cancer did not significantly differ between the 1562 women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy before developing menopause and the 1610 women in the comparator arm. However, women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy had a decreased risk of gynecologic cancers (ovary cancer, endometrial cancer) but not of non-gynecologic cancers (e.g., breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and lung cancer). Hence, women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy before menopause have a reduced risk of gynecologic cancer but not of other types of cancer.
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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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