Oophorectomy Compiled by Katie Anderson Definition: Excision of an ovary Removal of the ovaries in women is the biological equivalent of castration in males; however, the term castration is only occasionally used in the medical literature to refer to oophorectomy in humans. Indications: Ovarian cancer; ovarian (ectopic) pregnancy; ovarian cysts; regression of breast cancer; (controversial) prophylactic approach to breast cancer. Oophorectomy was first performed as a therapeutic procedure for advanced breast cancer over 110 years ago and as hormonal adjuvant treatment of primary breast cancer over 50 years ago. Uncertainty remains about the appropriate use of oophorectomy in adjuvant treatment, so it is not surprising that preventive oophorectomy in high-risk women remains controversial. Initial results show that with bilateral oophorectomy in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations reduces the risk of breast cancer and epithelial ovarian cancer, but it remains a highly debated approach. Methodology:
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