How can we reduce the toll of ovarian cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports


If you’re at risk to develop ovarian cancer, does it make sense to remove your fallopian tubes, which bridge the ovaries and the uterus? Perhaps, according to William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Nelson: I think the evidence that many if not most of the ovarian cancers arise in the fallopian tube is pretty strong. I don’t think there’s much of a doubt about that anymore. Some of the attempts to screen for ovarian cancer have been problematic. There are tools that can be used to screen. The problem with those tools is they result in a large number of exploratory operations. The hazard of that outweighs any benefit of screening. If you’re in a circumstance where you are incidentally removing fallopian tubes, removing them systematically from people at high risk, then perhaps screening tools that you might use would be different or might perform better. :34

Nelson says family history and certain mutations can help determine if a woman is at higher risk for ovarian cancer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.