Christopher P. Crum, MD, Division Chief of Women’s and Perinatal Pathology, discusses ovarian cancer risk, steps that can be taken to reduce ovarian cancer risk and techniques for detecting ovarian cancer at earlier stages of the disease.
Ovarian cancer is more uncommon than breast cancer; however, of the 22,000 women who develop ovarian cancer each year, about 14 or 15 thousand die from the disease. The risk of developing ovarian cancer is increased significantly by mutations in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes. Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes may be recommended to reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer, especially for women with BRCA 1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.
Multiple births, contraceptive pills, and even tubal ligation can also reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Many cases of ovarian cancer actually develop in the fallopian tube. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed the SEE-FIM protocol to carefully examine the end of the fallopian tube to detect ovarian cancer at very early stages.
Read the video transcript on recognizing the risk factors for prevention and early detection of ovarian cancer.