An oophorectomy for cancer is a surgical procedure to remove the ovaries as part of ovarian cancer treatment. Patients may also elect to have a prophylactic oophorectomy for cancer in order to prevent ovarian cancer or breast cancer – for women with a certain high breast-ovarian cancer syndrome, an oophorectomy can significantly improve the rate of survival. An oophorectomy for cancer may involve the removal of one ovary and fallopian tube (called a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) or both ovaries and fallopian tubes (known as a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy). Depending on the stage of the disease and the patient's prognosis, an oophorectomy for cancer may also be performed with a hysterectomy for cancer.
Patients who have an oophorectomy for cancer may experience significant long term effects due to the hormonal effects that result from removing the ovaries. Hormone replacement therapy may be an option for some women and may help to improve some of the adverse effects.
Women considering an oophorectomy for cancer treatment will find compassionate care in a world-class medical facility Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Oophorectomy and other ovarian cancer treatments at Brigham and Women's Hospital
The Gynecologic Oncology Program is one of a number of cancer treatment centers available to patients at Brigham and Women's Hospital. A world-renowned institution, Brigham and Women's Hospital offers patients access to the most advanced treatments, state-of-the-art technology and leading experts in the field of cancer treatment.
The Gynecologic Oncology Program specializes in treatment and research of gynecologic cancers, and provides a wide range of treatment that includes cervical, ovarian, vulvar and endometrial cancer treatment. Understanding that gynecologic cancers present a wide range of physical and emotional challenges, the program provides a treatment team to help patients through every aspect of their cancer journey, from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up care.
In addition to an oophorectomy, a number of other treatments may be recommended to patients with ovarian cancer, including treatment with radiation and/or chemotherapy to kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing. Patients requiring a hysterectomy as part of their cancer treatment may be eligible for a robotic hysterectomy at Brigham and Women's Center for Robotic Surgery, where our experienced surgeons have now performed 2,000 robotic-assisted surgeries to provide minimally invasive surgery that can help shorten recovery time and minimize pain and scarring.
Clinical research in ovarian cancer treatment
Patients with ovarian cancer may want to participate in clinical trials at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Part of the cancer research process, clinical trials study the effectiveness of new treatments and may offer significant benefits to patients with varying stages of ovarian cancer, either prior to or following an oophorectomy. Previous clinical studies at Brigham and Women's Hospital have resulted in a variety of new treatments that have helped to advance the field of cancer medicine.