Should the ovaries be surgically removed?
How safe or necessary is the surgical removal of the ovaries, for ovarian cancer patients and at risk women?
Prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy is usually done in patients with positive family history and known carrier of BRCA mutation etc. Prophylactic oophorectomy decreases the chances of ovarian cancer.
Oophorectomy along with hysterectomy in benign causes
Most of the time, ovaries are removed along with uterus for benign indications like menorrhagia, fibroids, etc. However, oophorectomy can be avoided in these cases.
Oophorectomy in ovarian cancer patients:
In a patient if CA 125 is significantly raised, and imaging is suggestive of ovarian tumor then salpingo-oophorectomy is indicated as the part of surgical staging. In nulliparous patients willing for kids, one ovary can be preserved with a due risk of ovarian cancer in the other ovary also.
Before the surgical removal of ovaries
Before taking such a drastic decision, these are the few things that every woman should keep in mind:
- Get a cancer screening done if you fear you might be at risk of developing ovarian or uterine cancer
- Always opt for a second opinion with a specialized gynecologic oncologist
- Hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy is not always an answer for ovarian or uterine cancer