Recently, it has become very common in pre-menopausal women to make the decision of having their ovaries removed in order to prevent the likelihood of cancer. However, a lot of scientists are warning that not all women should get such a procedure done. The results of a current study suggests that only pre-menopausal women having a faulty gene are the only ones who should be offered such a practice as they are at the highest risk.
According to experts, women have very high rates of suffering from asthma, depression, heart disease and other ailments if they had both of their ovaries removed before the age of 46. Even though the said procedure, called bilateral oophorectomy, is used to prevent the onset of cancer in women, it has a link to accelerated ageing which then gives rise to the body being more vulnerable to disease.
Health experts advice that only women who have a mutated breast gene known as BRCA1 should get both their ovaries removed in order to prevent or reduce the risk of suffering from cancer. Women who are at as risk of cancer due to their family history or other factors should not go through with such an operation.
The genes known as BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2/PTEN and TP53 are linked to women being at a higher risk of breast cancer. Having a mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene also increases the risk of ovarian cancer. The risk can be assessed through a blood test. A significant increase of 40 – 85% in overall risk of breast cancer can occur due to a single fault in any of these genes.
Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, researchers conducted the current study in order to see whether or not the removal of ovaries indeed had a link to increasing the risk of women suffering from eighteen chronic health conditions. The researchers followed two groups consisting of 1,653 women for about 14 years. The groups were divided between women who had gone through the ovary-removal procedure and the ones who hadn’t.
The results from the study showed that women who were under the age of 46 and had gone through the procedure of having their ovaries removed were more likely to suffer from 18 other chronic conditions, expect for the onset of cancer.
The researchers also went on to say that the ageing mechanism of cells could be affected due to the premature loss of the hormone estrogen due to the operation. This gives rise to the body’s organs being at risk of suffering from numerous diseases.
The current study was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a peer-reviewed journal.
According to the lead researcher of this study, Walter Rocca, the current results offer strong and new evidence to the medical world that young women should not go through bilateral oophorectomy as a cancer-prevention method. Women who don’t carry a gene variant that is high-risk should not be offered the option of going through such a procedure. It is advised that women should not get the surgery done unless they are at least 50 years old or haven’t reached menopause yet.