Should you remove fallopian tubes to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Ovarian cancer has a very poor prognosis, often because it’s so advanced when it’s found. A growing trend is underway to remove the fallopian tubes, which bridge the uterus and the ovaries, to stave off the development of ovarian cancer. Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson at Johns Hopkins explains.

Nelson: Is ovarian cancer in fact a fallopian tube cancer that’s crawled out and grown in such a way that it then envelopes the ovary? And if that is the case, could you do prophylactic surgery by removing the fallopian tubes, leaving the ovaries present in a young woman, that would mean continued menstrual cycles. As people started to think about doing that intentionally as prophylaxis and then careful monitoring. So there’s the beginning of these, there’s some registries. I don’t think we know exactly what the benefit is long term because there hasn’t been long term.   :31

Nelson says women with certain mutations in their genes may be helped by this strategy. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.