Medline ® Abstract for Reference 79
of 'Genetic counseling and testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer'
Should women with familial ovarian cancer undergo prophylactic oophorectomy?
Kerlikowske K, Brown JS, Grady DG
Obstet Gynecol. 1992;80(4):700.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the lifetime probabilities of ovarian cancer in women from families with hereditary ovarian cancer syndromes and those with a family history of ovarian cancer, and to assess the needs for prevention and surveillance in such women.
DATA SOURCES: We searched for studies of familial ovarian cancer published since 1966 and used ovarian cancer incidence data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program of the National Cancer Institute.
METHODS: Pooled estimates of relative risk of ovarian cancer among women with a family history of ovarian cancer were derived using statistical methods based on fixed effects. Modified life-table methods were used to estimate the lifetime probability of ovarian cancer.
DATA SYNTHESIS: The lifetime probability of ovarian cancer increases from about 1.6% in a 35-year-old woman without a family history of ovarian cancer to about 5% if she has one relative and 7% if she has two relatives with ovarian cancer. The lifetime probability may decrease to about 3-4% if she takes oral contraceptives for 5-9 years. Women from families with hereditary ovarian cancer syndromes may have as high as a 50% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: The risk of ovarian cancer in women from families with hereditary ovarian cancer syndromes is sufficiently high to warrant prophylactic oophorectomy. Among women with one relative with ovarian cancer, the lifetime probability of ovarian cancer is not high enough to recommend oophorectomy. However, some women may choose oophorectomy depending on their attitudes concerning risk-taking, surgery, and hormone replacement. Oral contraceptives should be considered as preventive therapy to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer in women with a family history of ovarian cancer.
General Internal Medicine Section, Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco, California.