Hereditary ovarian cancer--assessing risk and prevention strategies

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2007 Dec;34(4):651-65, vii-viii. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2007.09.005.


Hereditary ovarian cancers are almost entirely attributable to mutations in BRCA1/2 or the genes of DNA mismatch repair. Identifying individuals at risk requires a complete family history and evidence-guided genetic testing. Screening of women at increased risk for ovarian cancer can be considered in those not wishing prophylactic surgery and typically should include a twice-annual pelvic examination, serum CA-125 measurement, and transvaginal sonography. Patients must understand that these measures have not been conclusively proven to improve early detection or long-term survival. In all mutation carriers who have completed or do not desire childbearing, prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy must be strongly considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Testing
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Ovariectomy*
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk Factors