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Reducing the risk of gynaecological cancers 

Reducing the risk of gynaecological cancers
Reducing the risk of gynaecological cancers

Adam Rosenthal

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date: 12 July 2020

Up to 10% of ovarian and endometrial cancers can be attributed to genetic predisposition. Women identified as being at high risk of these cancers are offered risk-reducing surgery. BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers are offered bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, while women with Lynch syndrome are offered hysterectomy as well. Risk-reducing surgery not only prevents the development of gynaecological cancers but can also reduce breast cancer risk when performed pre-menopausally. Decision-making around the timing of surgery is complex and requires expert advice. Issues such as premature menopause may require input from other specialties for women to make informed choices. Use of the oral contraceptive pill, breastfeeding and some dietary modifications may reduce gynaecological cancer risk, but only surgery can prevent cancer.

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