Population Study Shows Salpingectomy Decreases Risk of Ovarian Cancer

(Feb. 2, 2015) Recent studies have suggested that ovarian cancer predominantly arises within the fallopian tubes or the uterus. A group of Swedish researchers hypothesized that surgical removal of the fallopian tubes (salpingectomy) is associated with a reduced risk for ovarian cancer.

In the study, which involved hundreds of thousands of women, researchers compared women who had had their fallopian tubes removed with women who had not.  The results, which were reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, show that there was a statistically significantly lower risk for ovarian cancer among women with previous salpingectomy when compared with those who hadn’t had salpingectomy.  In addition, statistically significant risk reductions were observed among women with previous hysterectomy, sterilization, and hysterectomy with BSO.  Bilateral salpingectomy was associated with a 50% decrease in risk of ovarian cancer compared with the unilateral procedure.

The researchers conclude that “salpingectomy on benign indication is associated with reduced risk of ovarian cancer. These data support the hypothesis that a substantial fraction of ovarian cancer arises in the fallopian tube. Our results suggest that removal of the fallopian tubes by itself, or concomitantly with other benign surgery, is an effective measure to reduce ovarian cancer risk in the general population.”

This study comes on the heels of an opinion released in December 2014 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) Committee on Gynecologic Practice, in which they suggest that prophylactic salpingectomy may offer clinicians the opportunity to prevent ovarian cancer in their patients.

Read the abstract of Ovarian Cancer Risk After Salpingectomy: A Nationwide Population-Based Study in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Posted on in Research