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New study questions benefits of elective removal of ovaries during hysterectomy
Date:3/9/2010

Removal of the ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) while performing a hysterectomy is common practice to prevent the subsequent development of ovarian cancer. This prophylactic procedure is performed in 55 percent of all US women having a hysterectomy, or approximately 300,000 times each year. An article in the March/April issue of t

Philadelphia, PA, March 9, 2010 Removal of the ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) while performing a hysterectomy is common practice to prevent the subsequent development of ovarian cancer. This prophylactic procedure is performed in 55% of all U.S. women having a hysterectomy, or approximately 300,000 times each year. An article in the March/April issue of The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology suggests that this procedure may do more harm than good.

William H. Parker, MD, John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica, CA, provides a comprehensive analysis of the medical literature relating to the benefit of oophorectomy at the time of hysterectomy. His investigation includes studies of post-hysterectomy cancer incidence, all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and hip fractures, coronary artery disease, and a number of other conditions. He concludes that, on balance, removal of the ovaries is not generally warranted for all women undergoing hysterectomy. In women not at high risk for development of ovarian or breast cancer, removing the ovaries at the time of hysterectomy should be approached with caution.

Dr. Parker states, "Presently, observational studies suggest that bilateral oophorectomy may do more harm than good. Given that 300 000 U.S. women a year undergo elective oophorectomy, the findings of increased long-term risks have important public health implicationsPrudence suggests that a detailed informed consent process covering the risks and benefits of oophorectomy and ovarian conservation should be conducted with women faced with this important decis
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Contact: Andrea Boccelli
jmigmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3713
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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