(HealthDay News) — More patients, even those at low risk for ovarian cancer, should consider having their fallopian tubes removed to prevent the cancer, a leading research group has advised.
In new guidance released this week, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance urged patients who are undergoing pelvic surgeries for benign conditions (such as cysts or endometriosis) to consider having their fallopian tubes removed if they have finished having children.
Evidence suggests that most ovarian cancers, particularly aggressive ones, start in the fallopian tubes, the alliance noted. Patients at high risk of ovarian cancer are already urged to have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after they are done having children.
The alliance also highlighted the importance of educating patients about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, performing genetic testing in high-risk patients, ensuring patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer are seen by a gynecologic oncologist and have access to standard care, informing patients about the utility of genomic testing for more personalized treatment, encouraging cascade testing for patients’ family members when applicable, and promoting clinical trial participation.
“Ovarian cancer is a relatively rare disease, and typically, we don’t message to the general population,” Audra Moran, president of the alliance, told The New York Times. “We want everyone with ovaries to know their risk level and know the actions they can take to help prevent ovarian cancer.”