Remove fallopian tubes to prevent ovarian cancer, research group says

The Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance is recommending an aggressive ovarian cancer prevention strategy: Remove a patient's fallopian tubes if that person is undergoing pelvic surgery, The Washington Post reported Feb. 2.

The practice would apply to women, transgender men or nonbinary people at average risk who do not plan to have any or additional children. Although the recommendation itself is not new, recommending it as a form of cancer prevention is.

"As the fallopian tube is the origin of most high-grade serous cancers, fallopian tube removal has been shown to dramatically reduce risk for a later ovarian cancer diagnosis," a consensus statement released by the alliance said.

Currently, there is no effective screening method for ovarian cancer, and removing fallopian tubes is becoming more of a standard procedure, according to the report. 

"Removing the fallopian tubes is a simple procedure and doesn't impact your hormonal function," Bhavana Pothuri, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at New York City-based NYU Langone Health, told the Post. "It's almost a no-brainer to take it out, especially if you're undergoing surgery for a hysterectomy."

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