[MOL] Breast cancer patients opt for ovary removal [01741] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Breast cancer patients opt for ovary removal

Breast cancer patients opt for ovary removal
    [09/28/2000; Reuters Health]

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Almost half of women with
breast cancer who are Ashkenazi Jews and who find out they
are carriers of BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations opt to have their
healthy ovaries surgically removed, according to cancer experts
at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Ovary removal
is a drastic surgery that can shut down estrogen production and
put women into premature menopause. However, BRCA carriers are
at higher risk of ovarian cancer, and ovary removal may help
ward off the disease. Inherited mutations cause about 10% of ovarian
cancer cases, and certain mutations are more common in women
of eastern European descent, known as Ashkenazi Jews. Of the 190
breast cancer patients who were found to have cancer-causing
BRCA mutations at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to date,
85 chose to have their apparently healthy ovaries removed as
a cancer-prevention measure, said Dr. Kenneth Offit, chief of
the clinical genetics service. The median age of this group was
40 to 46.

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