Prophylactic oophorectomy: Clinical considerations

Walter H. Gotlieb, Gilad Ben Baruch, Eitan Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ovarian cancer usually remains clinically silent until it is far advanced, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In view of the modest impact of adjuvant treatments on survival, much effort is devoted to early detection programs and prevention strategies. However, the usefulness of early detection programs remains to be established, with only one randomized study indicating improved median survival in screened individuals. At present, oral contraceptives and prophylactic oophorectomy are the only options for prevention of ovarian cancer. Indications for prophylactic oophorectomy either as a primary procedure, or secondary to abdominal surgery, will vary according to the estimated risk, and to the individual's perception of that risk. Genetic screening allows better identification of pre-symptomatic individuals who would benefit the most from prophylactic oophorectomy: Data concerning the benefit of prophylactic surgery, and the safety of established or innovative hormone replacement therapies in individuals at risk, are encouraging. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • BRCA1 genes
  • Breast neoplasms/epidemiology/genetics
  • Genetic markers
  • Genetic predisposition to disease
  • Genetic screening
  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal neoplasms
  • Hysterectomy
  • Non-steroidal estrogens
  • Ovarian neoplasms/epidemiology/genetics/prevention and control/surgery
  • Ovariectomy
  • Prophylactic surgery


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