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Managing a High Risk of Ovarian Cancer

27 Sep 2019 by Krystal Barter
Managing a High Risk of Ovarian Cancer

The risk of ovarian cancer for you in your 20s is very low (even for women with a BRCA gene mutation) and similar to the any other woman in the population. There is nothing you need to do in this age group to manage an ovarian cancer risk other than to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

Your Familial Cancer Clinic can provide guidance regarding your ovarian cancer risk including what age you need to seek advice regarding management of your ovarian cancer risk.

The risk of ovarian cancer for women in their early 30’s with a BRCA gene mutation is very low and similar to the woman in the general population. As women with a BRCA gene mutation enter their late 30’s the risk of ovarian cancer can increase very slightly but usually remains very low.

For women who have a BRCA gene mutation their risk begins to increase in their late 30’s. Therefore women who have completed
their families, are usually recommended to start thinking about the timing of surgery to remove the ovaries and Fallopian tubes. It is recommended to see a gynaecological oncologist for this surgery. For women who have breast tissue, having this type of gynaecological surgery performed in their early 40’s may reduce the risk of breast cancer by half.

If you have a BRCA gene mutation you have a high lifetime risk for ovarian cancer. This risk starts to increase in your 40s.

If you have completed your family, you will be advised to plan surgery to remove your ovaries and Fallopian tubes. It is recommended to see a gynaecological oncologist for this surgery. If you have breast tissue, having this type of surgery performed in your late 30’s to early 40’s may reduce your risk of breast cancer by up to half.

If you have a high risk of ovarian cancer based on your family history with no defined gene mutation it is best to seek the advice of a Familial Cancer Clinic or a gynaecological regarding the appropriate timing of surgery based on your circumstances.

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