Ovarian risk reduction surgery is most often recommended for women at high risk of developing ovarian cancer—specifically, women with mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or those with a family history of ovarian cancer. And indeed, a prophylactic oophorectomy can reduce a woman’s chances of getting ovarian cancer by 80 to 90 percent. In premenopausal women with a BRCA mutation, ovarian risk reduction surgery can also reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 50 percent.
However, there is a type of cancer much like epithelial ovarian cancer that women who have had ovarian risk reduction surgery can still get. This is called primary peritoneal cancer; it starts outside of the ovaries, growing from the cells that line the pelvis and abdomen.