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Ovarian Cancer Heredity
Daughterofchristine posted:

My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on December 1, 2011 and died on January 18, 2012.

It is hitting me very hard and I don't even know what to do.

My main questions for this site are how hereditary is ovarian cancer? I have two beautiful daughters (one of whom has a history of brain cancer) that I need to be here for. I know I am done having children...should I talk to my gynecologist about having my ovaries removed? A hysterectomy too?

I may be completely overreacting and making this about myself, but I am scared. And I miss my mother so much.

Any words of advice anyone might have would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Christine's Daughter
someonewhocares3 responded:
I'm so sorry for your loss! Certain mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes increase risk for breast and ovarian cancer. But being tested for these mutations can put you in a quandary as to whether to have ovaries and/or breasts prophylactically removed.

I worked with a woman who had a very strong family history of both breast and ovarian cancer. Her sister and at least one aunt had ovarian cancer. Her mom and several aunts had breast cancer. But her gyn said her ovaries were too important to have them prophylactically removed so he monitored her closely. She still had her ovaries last time I saw her and she was close to age 50.

The uterus and ovaries have lifelong functions. Their removal has serious health consequences. Here's a short video detailing their functions and consequences of removal -

Ovary removal (or ovary failure after hysterectomy) increases risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, hip fracture, Parkinsonism, dementia, cognitive impairment, depression and anxiety. Here are some other resources:

My gyn removed my uterus and both ovaries 6 years ago when all that needed to be removed was a benign cyst or one ovary. My life and health have been in a tailspin ever since. I became suicidally depressed (never had depression before). I also aged 10-15 years almost overnight despite being on estrogen. I now have the inevitable post-hyst big belly and back pain due to the loss of pelvic integrity.

Please research and be sure you know your personal risks for OC before making this serious decision. Also, there are diet and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risks.

Hope I've been of some help!

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