Statement from the Prevent Cancer Foundation on ovarian cancer prevention guidance

An illustration of the female reproductive system with a target on the right ovary. There are growths on the ovary indicating cancer.

In January, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) released new guidance in a consensus statement for ovarian cancer prevention recommending that those undergoing pelvic surgeries for other benign (non-cancerous) conditions (including hysterectomy, tubal ligations, cysts, endometriosis) should consider having their fallopian tubes removed as part of the already planned procedure. This concept, referred to as “opportunistic salpingectomy,” is the subject of ongoing research examining its effectiveness in those at average risk of ovarian cancer.

To be clear, OCRA’s recommendation is not that all people with ovaries remove their fallopian tubes; but rather, that those already undergoing pelvic surgeries consider this option and discuss it with their health care provider.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation encourages individuals with ovaries to talk with their health care provider about their personal risk for ovarian cancer and consider appropriate steps to reduce that risk, when possible. Your health care provider may recommend additional or more frequent screenings, medications or surgery.

Factors that place a person with ovaries at high risk for ovarian cancer include a known genetic mutation in one or more genes that are associated with an increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer or a strong family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancers. Research supports the recommendation that some people at high risk for ovarian cancer should have their ovaries and fallopian tubes surgically removed (salpingo-oophorectomy) if they are finished or are not having children.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation encourages everyone to be active participants in their health, including maintaining an awareness of your cancer risk based on your family and personal health histories, lifestyle choices and other factors, and the steps you can take to reduce that risk. Learn your family health history and talk to your health care provider.