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Preventing Ovarian Cancer

Of the total 61 genes our proactive cancer risk test checks, there are 11 genes that we know can influence a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer. If a variation is identified in any of these genes in your test, it means you will have an increased risk for ovarian cancer as you get older. How high that risk is will depend on which gene has the variation. If you do find out you have an increased genetic risk for ovarian cancer, it’s important to know there are steps you can take to prevent the cancer from occuring. The focus is on prevention for this type of cancer because there are currently no effective screening techniques for ovarian cancer, which means there are no easy checks for women to help them detect the cancer early.

Women who know they have an increased risk for ovarian cancer will be supported to consider and access medication that can reduce their risk, or surgery to remove their ovaries and fallopian tubes (called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, or BSO for short) once they have had children (if they are having them). A BSO is not a full hysterectomy, so it can usually be performed as a day procedure with key-hole surgery; and the hormonal impacts are managed carefully. Having a BSO will prevent a cancer from developing in the ovaries or fallopian tubes.