Western Regional Blog – BC, YK, AB, NWT and Nunavut
Until recently most studies suggested that hysterectomy with ovarian conservation was associated with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. However, several recent studies have reported modestly increased risks of ovarian cancer following hysterectomy. Given that as many as 35% of women will have a hysterectomy, the nature of the association requires clarification. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published literature on the relationship between hysterectomy and ovarian cancer to investigate whether there has been a temporal change in the association. Twenty observational studies that have reported a quantitative assessment of the association between hysterectomy and risk of histologically-confirmed ovarian cancer were included in the meta-analysis. The overall relative risk (RR) estimate was 0.81 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.92) suggesting hysterectomy decreases the risk of ovarian cancer. However, there was significant heterogeneity in the results (I2 = 74%). Our exploration of sources of heterogeneity and metaregression showed that median year of cancer diagnosis of included cases explained most of the heterogeneity relative risk (RR = 0.70 (95% CI 0.65–0.76) for median year diagnosis pre 2000; RR = 1.18 (95% CI 1.06–1.31) for post 2000). This study shows that there has been a temporal shift in the association between hysterectomy and risk of ovarian cancer. One explanation may be the trend away from hysterectomy in younger women. Other speculative possibilities include the decline in oophorectomy rates and the use of oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy in hysterectomised women. Until further evidence becomes available, clinicians should not advise women that a hysterectomy without salpingo-oophorectomy will favourably influence their future risk of ovarian cancer.
Susan J. Jordan,Christina M. Nagle, Michael D. Coory, Diane Maresco, Melinda M. Protania, Neha A. Pandeya, Kanchana D. Balasubramaniam, Penelope M. Webb