Western Regional Blog – BC, YK, AB, NWT and Nunavut
“This is a very important study. It includes a very large patient population followed for a fairly long period of time, confirming earlier reports of the value and the impact on survival associated with this procedure.”
Maurie Markman, MD
Hello. I am Dr. Maurie Markman from Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, and I want to briefly discuss a very important paper that has just appeared online, ahead of print, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.  It is titled “Impact of Oophorectomy on Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutation.”
In an international registry of 5783 women followed for a median of 6 years, the investigators were able to demonstrate an 80% reduction in the risk for ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary cancer of the peritoneum in women who had undergone prophylactic oophorectomy, and an improvement of 77% overall in all-cause mortality in this population.
This is a very important study. It includes a very large patient population followed for a fairly long period of time, confirming earlier reports of the value and the impact on survival associated with this procedure. Clearly, there are negative aspects of prophylactic oophorectomy, particularly the issue of surgical menopause in a woman who is premenopausal, because these procedures are typically performed long before menopause. But this information will critically inform the decision between a healthcare team and the individual in question, and her family, about the value of this procedure.
I would encourage all readers who have an interest in this topic — oncologists, gynecologists, as well as women who might be concerned about or know that they have a BRCA mutation themselves or in their family — to read this important paper. Thank you for your attention.