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Might be a silly question. . . Might be a silly question. . .

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  #1  
Unread 07-22-2005, 01:51 PM
Might be a silly question. . .

HI, a friend with breast cancer has just had her (very healthy) ovaries removed, as a "precaution" - less estrogen being supposed to be better for her breast cancer survival chances.

Does this mean that women without ovaries (and without pre-existing cancer)have a lower breast cancer risk?

Just wondering
H
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  #2  
Unread 07-22-2005, 02:35 PM
Might be a silly question. . .

Dear hjhope,

I was wondering that myself ...so I think I will attach myself to your post so I can catch all the sisters responses. OK? if I tag along....

Unfortunately, I have had more than my share of estrogen in my lifetime. Hence, I ended up with endometrial cancer (estrogen driven). I was thinking/hoping that the removal of my ovaries would have an impact on my statistics in regards to getting breast cancer in the future? Even though I was post menopause when diagnosed.....I still had a fair amount of estrogen. My GYN was actually surprised at the amount. However, since surgery I have had another blood test which determined that it has finally plummeted to very low levels.

Because, breast cancer is often estrogen driven as well ...I was hoping that my ovaries final demise would add some type of protective factor? Or, is estrogens effect cumulative...and no benefit gained?

Perhaps, age when ovaries were removed plays a significant role in the impact of estrogen on future breast cancer?

Good question....hihope. Would be great if some sisters have a few answers about this.

Hugs,

Diane (baylee6)
  #3  
Unread 07-22-2005, 04:08 PM
Breast cancer risk

H and Diane:
I too initially thought that the risk would decrease, but it was explained to me by a nurse pract. that the exposure to estrogen which endo girls have undergone prior to the BSO increases the risk of breast cancer..but not significantly. The removal, over the long term would work in reducing the higher risk, and if you do contract the disease, it likely would not be as aggressive as it would have been with continued estrogen exposure during the development of the cancer. For cervical cancer girls it supposedly does reduce the chances...but not to the extent that you should not get annual exams, mammo and do self examines. I hope this helps a little, and I would not bet the house on what the nurse said, but I think there is research out there on this subject.
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  #4  
Unread 07-22-2005, 05:03 PM
Might be a silly question. . .

And yet... the women in my family who have had breast cancer got it after menopause (significantly after). I believe that older women do tend to get it more. Strange...
  #5  
Unread 07-23-2005, 06:30 AM
Might be a silly question. . .


My Gyn/onco told me that having my ovaries out would DECREASE my risk for Breast Cancer. However,having Ovarian Cancer increases my risk...so I dont 'know where I stand on that issue anymore.

K9
  #6  
Unread 07-23-2005, 06:54 AM
Might be a silly question. . .

Hi, just popped in to add this to the mix...
I knew I had this saved somewhere through my years of researching...this comes from a report which was issued from the Mayo Clinic:

Prophylactic oophorectomy: Removing your ovaries to reduce your risk of breast and ovarian cancer:

What is preventive oophorectomy, and what does it have to do with breast cancer?


Oophorectomy refers to the surgical removal of your ovaries. Removing your ovaries greatly reduces the amount of circulating estrogen in your body. This can halt or slow breast cancers that depend on estrogen to grow.

How much of an impact can this have on your risk of breast and ovarian cancer? A significant one. Prophylactic oophorectomy reduces your risk of breast cancer by about 50 percent if you're premenopausal, and it reduces your risk of ovarian cancer by up to 95 percent — no matter what your menopausal status.

***Please pay close attention to the LAST paragraph
Who is prophylactic oophorectomy recommended for?


Prophylactic oophorectomy is usually recommended if you're at increased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer due to an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes — two genes linked to breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other cancers. High-risk women age 35 and older who have completed their families are the best candidates for this surgery.

If you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene alteration, your risk of ovarian cancer is much higher than it is for the general population — and your risk of breast cancer is even higher. But because ovarian cancer is much more difficult to detect at an early stage than is breast cancer, it's more likely to be deadly.

Because BRCA1 carriers are at risk of developing ovarian cancer at an earlier age than are BRCA2 carriers, they usually have the procedure at an earlier age — between ages 35 and 40. Carriers of a BRCA2 alteration can usually delay the procedure until age 45. In either case, you may be able to postpone having prophylactic oophorectomy until you've finished having children.

Prophylactic oophorectomy may also be recommended if you have a strong family history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer but no known genetic alteration. It might also be recommended if you have a strong likelihood of carrying the gene mutation based on your family history but choose not to proceed with genetic testing.
  #7  
Unread 07-23-2005, 07:15 AM
Might be a silly question. . .

Thanks for the info. I guess it is complicated, since some breast cancers are more estrogen dependent than others.
H
  #8  
Unread 07-23-2005, 11:47 AM
Might be a silly question. . .

Dear Sisters,

Since hjhope so graciously let me tag along, I wanted to thank everyone as well.

Good information > ( Heni )...And, (K9) were you already post menopausal when your onc/gyn told you it would 'still' decrease your chances?


I can see where taking ovaries early on would have some benefit in lowering the chances of getting breast cancer in the future. However, I am still wondering if ( ovaries are removed post menopause ) whether any extra benefit. (Lexis) your addressed this some in that you heard if one did get cancer it would be less aggressive as there is less estrogen to feed it?

Thanks again sisters..
Hugs, Diane
  #9  
Unread 07-24-2005, 03:56 AM
Might be a silly question. . .

The post by 3 Sisters is accurate - I have a subscription to the New England Journal of Medicine and that is where this study was originally posted (then was updated at Mayo, and other news sites even.)

Lots of good information there regarding removal of ovaries and lower risk of breast cancer. I'm currently battling my gyn over this issue. He wants to put me on estrogen. My mom has OvCa and both her grandmother's died of OvCa (so it is possible this could be genetic, tho' I've not been BRCA tested.)
I believe I've just reduced my risk of breast cancer (to some degree), and don't want to start up on the estrogen and raise my risk.

Shoozie
  #10  
Unread 07-24-2005, 07:55 AM
Might be a silly question. . .

Hi again~

Just wanted to pass along what my DR has told me regarding the BRCAI and BRCAII tests....
He explained to me his concern with these tests this way...
There would be countless possible gene mutations for OvCa, the BRCA's are just one test to date for a specific gene to date. He went on to tell me in the future there will be many more to accurately determine if it is absolutely hereditary or not. Unfortunately, at this time, he feels the BRCA's are just not enough.

Anyone else been given this information?
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