WOMEN HEALTH : Ovarian cancer after hysterectomy: is it possible?

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Yes, it is possible to develop ovarian cancer.
The hysterectomies are of different types namely partial hysterectomy, total hysterectomy and radical hysterectomy.

  • The total hysterectomy involves removal of uterus and cervix.
  • The partial hysterectomy involves removal of uterus. In both these conditions ovaries are not removed.
  • The radical hysterectomy involves removal of uterus, cervix, and tissues on both sides of cervix and upper part of vagina.

In all the above surgeries, there is a chance the subject may develop ovarian cancer as the ovaries are intact.

The total hysterectomy along with the fallopian tubes and ovaries called the salphingo - oophorectomy minimizes the chances of ovarian cancer. There is a chance of developing cancer from the peritoneum as both ovaries and the peritoneum develop from the same origin during the embryonic development. Since the ovaries are close to peritoneum there is chance of the spread of cancer from peritoneum.

Ovarian cancer is rare form of cancer, higher in people with specific gene mutations. It is possible to prevent ovarian cancer by performing a prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy, where in the ovaries are removed prophylactically. The subject can still be predisposed to ovarian cancer if there is genetic predisposition to BRCA genes.

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