Ovarian cancer death reduction for women at high risk: workload implications for gynaecology services

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Jan;26(1):42-4. doi: 10.1080/01443610500378616.


Ovarian cancer spreads early, presents late and is difficult to cure. Reducing death rates from ovarian malignancy has focussed on the unaffected females of families with a high chance of a mutant gene such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. We set up a familial ovarian cancer service in a district general hospital in the UK, serving a population of 330,000. The clinical genetics team acted as gatekeepers to the service. Risk assessment, ultrasound and biochemical screening and prophylactic oophorectomy were discussed. Gene testing was offered when appropriate. This study reviews the levels of activity for the first 8 years of the service. In all, 153 women were referred, of whom 34 (16%) did not have significant clinical histories. Of the 114 who fulfilled the UKFOCSS criteria for family history and age, four were quickly found to be gene mutation negative and 20 (17%) declined intervention. A total of 29 (25%) chose prophylactic oophorectomy and 61 (54%) chose ultrasound screening.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Ovariectomy
  • Risk Assessment
  • State Medicine
  • Ultrasonography
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*