An article published on February 2nd in The Washington Post highlights a turning point in our fight against ovarian cancer.
As covered in the article, “Fallopian tube removal advised for more women to prevent ovarian cancer,” OCRA released a consensus statement, endorsed by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, encouraging an aggressive prevention strategy: removal of the fallopian tubes while undergoing pelvic surgery for another reason.
The Washington Post writes, “The guidance to remove [fallopian tubes] … is not entirely new — it reflects conversations many doctors already have with their patients and mirrors guidelines from at least two medical groups. But the advice is certain to draw increased attention to fallopian tube removal as a way to lower ovarian cancer risk.”
“I can guarantee you these conversations happen,” said Arif Kamal, chief patient officer for the American Cancer Society. “This is now an important group that has come out and said ‘We really do think these conversations should happen pretty regularly.’”
Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, a leading cancer research group, recently posted a consensus statement encouraging patients to consider preventive fallopian tube removal if they are undergoing pelvic surgery for another noncancerous condition including hysterectomy, tubal ligations, cysts and endometriosis.
The group notes that because “the fallopian tube is the origin of most high-grade serous cancers, fallopian tube removal has been shown to dramatically reduce risk for a later ovarian cancer diagnosis.”
The group’s recommendations, first reported in The New York Times, also encourage women and anyone born with ovaries to learn more about their genetic risk for ovarian cancer.
Efforts to identify a screening test for ovarian cancer have failed. A large British clinical trial used scans and blood tests hoping to find ovarian cancer at an early stage, but the results showed the screening tests didn’t reduce deaths from the disease.
“We knew it was an important study. We knew that we needed to change the dialogue because we’re the largest ovarian cancer organization in the world and we had a responsibility,” said Audra Moran, president and chief executive of Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, or OCRA.
Read the full article in The Washington Post.