Your ovaries — the almond-shaped organs on each side of your uterus — contain eggs and secrete the hormones that control your reproductive cycle. Removing your ovaries greatly reduces the amount of the hormones estrogen and progesterone circulating in your body. This can halt or slow breast cancers that need these hormones to grow.
Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations have a significantly increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Prophylactic or risk-reduction oophorectomy (oh-oaf-uh-REK-tuh-me) significantly reduces your odds of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer if you're at high risk.
Women with BRCA gene mutations usually also have their fallopian tubes removed at the same time (salpingo-oophorectomy), since they have an increased risk of fallopian tube cancer as well.
Questions & Answers
Who should have risk-reduction ovary and tube removal?
How much does surgery help reduce my risk?
What are the risks of tube and ovary removal?
What are the alternatives to tube and ovary removal?