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Emlyn Louis, MD speaks with Julia Herrera as he examines her at the Broward Community & Family Health Center on April 20, 2009 in Pompano Beach, Florida.
A new study authored by Dr. Steven Narod at the University of Toronto shows that women with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations may benefit from early screening and even prophylactic removal of their ovaries to avoid ovarian cancer.
The study found that if women with these mutations have their ovaries removed by age 35, they can reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by up to 80 percent.
The study findings were so overwhelming that researchers think that ovary removal women with the BRCA 1 should become standardized. Other oncologists support the study findings in a more reserved way, saying that routine screening for women with familial history and evaluation of options, including early prophylactic oophorectomies, could save lives.
Is early ovary removal the best way to prevent ovarian cancer for women under 35 with BRCA mutations? Are there other options for women who may want to wait to have children? How will this study affect oncology and gynecology in the future?
Dr. Joyce Liu, MD, MPH, instructor in medicine, Harvard University,
Dr. Noah Kauff, Director, Ovarian Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital