A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations who protectively had their ovaries removed (oophorectomy) reduced their risk of ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer by 80 percent and their overall risk of death by 77 percent.
Investigators at the OSUCCC – James, including co-author and licensed genetic counselor Leigha Senter, MS, LGC, collaborated on this study, which has been offered to patients with genetic mutations at the OSUCCC – James since 2001.
“Thanks to the women who have participated worldwide over the years, we are learning more about the cancer risks associated with having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation,” Senter says.
This study describes the difference in ovarian cancer risk associated with mutations in the two genes and narrows the average age of diagnosis to equip patients with the knowledge to make the best decisions for them.
Women with BRCA1 mutations have a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer at a younger age than those with BRCA2 mutations. Therefore, genetic counselors can personalize recommendations and suggest that these women have preventive removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes earlier than those with BRCA2 mutations.
“Of course, this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, because there are risks and side effects associated with the surgery,” Senter says. “We encourage women to consider all factors before making a permanent decision.”
For more information on this study, or if you or someone you know may have a BRCA mutation, contact genetic counselors at the OSUCCC – James by calling 614-293-6694.