30 September 2016
A new study has indicated that ovary removal should generally not be considered in premenopausal women as a means of preventing ovarian cancer.
The Mayo Clinic study followed two groups of women for a period of approximately 14 years, including 1,653 women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy - the removal of both ovaries - and an equal number of women of the same age who did not.
It was shown that women under the age of 46 who had their ovaries removed experienced a significantly elevated risk of multiple chronic health conditions, including depression, hyperlipidaemia, cardiac arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and osteoporosis.
Oestrogen therapy reduced some of the risk in women who had undergone the procedure, suggesting that the premature loss of oestrogen caused by the oophorectomy may have adversely affected several natural ageing mechanisms at the cellular and tissue level.
This shows that the effects of ovary removal in premenopausal women are much broader and more severe than previously documented, indicating that it is not a suitable cancer prevention method for younger women.
Dr Walter Rocca, lead author of the study, said: "Bilateral oophorectomy should not be considered an ethically acceptable option for the prevention of ovarian cancer in the majority of women who do not carry a high-risk genetic variant."
Posted by Philip Briggs
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