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Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy and the Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy Below the Age of Natural Menopause: Scientific Impact Paper No. 66

Manchanda, R; Gaba, F; Talaulikar, V; Pundir, J; Gessler, S; Davies, M; Menon, U; (2022) Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy and the Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy Below the Age of Natural Menopause: Scientific Impact Paper No. 66. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology , 129 (1) e16-e34. 10.1111/1471-0528.16896. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper deals with the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after the removal of fallopian tubes and ovaries to prevent ovarian cancer in premenopausal high risk women. Some women have an alteration in their genetic code, which makes them more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Two well-known genes which can carry an alteration are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Examples of other genes associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer include RAD51C, RAD51D, BRIP1, PALB2 and Lynch syndrome genes. Women with a strong family history of ovarian cancer and/or breast cancer, may also be at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Women at increased risk can choose to have an operation to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries, which is the most effective way to prevent ovarian cancer. This is done after a woman has completed her family. However, removal of ovaries causes early menopause and leads to hot flushes, sweats, mood changes and bone thinning. It can also cause memory problems and increases the risk of heart disease. It may reduce libido or impair sexual function. Guidance on how to care for women following preventative surgery who are experiencing early menopause is needed. HRT is usually advisable for women up to 51 years of age (average age of menopause for women in the UK) who are undergoing early menopause and have not had breast cancer, to minimise the health risks linked to early menopause. For women with a womb, HRT should include estrogen coupled with progestogen to protect against thickening of the lining of the womb (called endometrial hyperplasia). For women without a womb, only estrogen is given. Research suggests that, unlike in older women, HRT for women in early menopause does not increase breast cancer risk, including in those who are BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers and have preventative surgery. For women with a history of receptor-negative breast cancer, the gynaecologist will liaise with an oncology doctor on a case-by-case basis to help to decide if HRT is safe to use. Women with a history of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer are not normally offered HRT. A range of other therapies can be used if a woman is unable to take HRT. These include behavioural therapy and non-hormonal medicines. However, these are less effective than HRT. Regular exercise, healthy lifestyle and avoiding symptom triggers are also advised. Whether to undergo surgery to reduce risk or not and its timing can be a complex decision-making process. Women need to be carefully counselled on the pros and cons of both preventative surgery and HRT use so they can make informed decisions and choices.

Type: Article
Title: Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy and the Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy Below the Age of Natural Menopause: Scientific Impact Paper No. 66
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.16896
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.16896
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Reproductive Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Womens Cancer
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137456
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