For women who carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, preventive oophorectomy substantially reduced the risk of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer and all-cause mortality, according to a prospective study of 5783 women followed up for an average of 5.6 years (Finch A et al. J Clin
Oncol. doi:10.1200/JCO.2013.53.2820 [published online February 24, 2014]).
At baseline, 2123 women had a history of preventive oophorectomy; 1390 had the surgery during follow-up. Of the 186 new ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal cancers diagnosed in the study cohort, 108 occurred in women with intact ovaries (98 in carriers of a BRCA1 mutation). In women who had undergone oophorectomy, 46 occult cancers were diagnosed at the time of the surgery, and 32 women developed peritoneal cancer afterward. Oophorectomy was associated with an 80% reduced risk for these 3 cancers (hazard ratio [HR], 0.20; 95% CI, 0.13-0.30, P < .001) and a 77% reduced risk for all-cause mortality before age 70 years (HR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.13-0.39; P < .001).