A new research study has suggested that women who have specific genetic mutations which significantly increase their chance of getting ovarian and/or breast cancer are able to cut out the chance by as much as 80 percent if they have their ovaries taken out by the time they reach the age of 35. This is the very first kind of study that has shown just how much such an operation could do to lower the cancer risk and it is also the first that has put a definite age on when the benefits start.
This is a discovery so remarkable that researchers believe ovary removal ought to start becoming the norm for any woman that has the so-called BRCA1 gene transmutations. Such a find has really endorsed the fact for those who take care of women who have the risky BRCA1 gene, which informing them to take out their ovaries and fallopian tubes really is having a constructive and healthy impact on the woman. It lessens her chance of ovarian cancer enormously and also improves her survival rate, stated Dr. Ursula Matulonis, who works for a cancer center in Boston.
Having the ovaries removed is not an easy decision to make. It is a surgery known as an oophorectomy and puts a young female in sudden and everlasting menopause. However the study, which was printed up in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, states that the operation is worth the side effects, which includes a most probable ending to the woman having children. Most of these ladies who have BRCA mutations are already having their breasts removed even before they have any breast cancer signs.
Cancer experts have debated on whether they should screen for cancers, but for individuals who have strong family histories of cancer and known mutations, it has become very clear that proactive surgery is a very good choice.
In the research study, there were just under 6,000 women from seven countries, including the United States and Canada. It began in 1995 and continued until 2011. They all had genetic mutations related to either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes or to both. These are well known to elevate the chance of ovarian, breast and other cancers. The study showed that an operation needed to be performed as soon as it was practical.
Around 2,000 females had their ovaries taken out before the study and around another 1,400 had them taken out during the research period. Over 2,280 did not have their ovaries removed. The women who did have their ovaries removed ended up lowering their ovarian cancer risk by 80 percent. But it was only for specific BRCA1 gene mutations. Women who had BRCA2 mutations did not see as much of a benefit. BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene transformations are seen mostly among Jews. About two percent of those that are descended from European Jews have the mutations. They are not seen as much in the general American population.
BRCA mutations are amid dozens of other genetic mutations which lift ovarian or breast cancer risks. Around 12 percent of women will come down with breast cancer in their lives, but over 55 percent of women with the BRCA1 mutation will, stated the National Cancer Institute. Just about 1.5 percent of women will come down with ovarian cancer, but nearly 40 percent of those with one of the harmful BRCA1 mutations will.
By having the ovaries taken out lowers the breast cancer risk by almost 49 percent in women who have BRCA mutations. This is most likely because it stops the manufacture of the hormone estrogen, which often helps fuel breast cancer.
Ovarian cancer is not usually found until it has spread because the symptoms it causes are very vague. There also is not any type of good screening test yet to look for cancer of the ovaries, which is considered the most lethal women’s cancer. It kills at least 15,000 women each year in the United States. With these kind of lethal numbers, the research study is probably right in suggesting that women who have specific genetic mutations need to have their ovaries taken out by the time they reach the age of 35.
By Kimberly Ruble