Prophylactic oophorectomy among carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations - Demographic and pathologic data

Hagit Daum*, Michal Sagi, Eli Pikarsky, Diana Pruss, Tamar Hamburger, Tamar Peretz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: During the past few years, the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 were cloned. Mutations in each gene are responsible for the syndrome of familial breast and ovarian carcinoma. Among women who carry such a mutation, there is a 56%-80% life-time risk of developing breast cancer and a 16%-60% risk of developing ovarian cancer. Recently, it has been proven that prophylactic mastectomy and/ or oophorectomy might reduce such risks of developing cancer. Neither of these treatments offers full protection and furthermore, compliance of carriers is partial, considering the physical and mental consequences of such treatment. Goals and methods: This study describes the sociodemographic profile of 30 healthy carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations that underwent prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy. We also examined the pathological specimens and point out the ratio of significant pathological findings, especially the presence of cancer. The women are being followed-up at Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem. Results: Pathological examination of the ovaries and fallopian tubes of 30 healthy carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations who underwent prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy revealed tumor in three cases (10%). Two tumors were in the ovaries and one in the fallopian tube. One of these tumors was in an advanced stage and two were small and confined to the organ. Conclusions: Based on the above results, we noted that salpingo-oophorectomy, despite being quite a radical preventive method, might offer protection for the carriers against life-threatening silently-developing cancer. We found cancer in 10% (3) of the women, and in two of these cases, prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy became the definitive treatment for a small occult tumor.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • BRCA
  • Occult carcinoma
  • Preventive oophorectomy


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