Ovary Removal Cuts Breast-Cancer Deaths
Women with breast cancer who carry a high-risk gene can lower their risk of death from the disease 62% by having their ovaries removed, a new study finds. They can reduce their risk even more by not delaying that surgery for more than a year or two, researchers said. The study included 676 women who had early-stage breast cancer. All of them were carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Women with these genes have a much higher than average risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. About half of the women in the study decided to have their ovaries removed. Those with a BRCA1 gene who had their ovaries removed were 62% less likely to die of breast cancer in the next 20 years. Death rates were up to 73% lower for women who had the surgery within 2 years of their breast cancer diagnosis.