Ovary Removal Slashes Cancer Risk Among BRCA Carriers

January 15, 2009

Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Associate Director for Population Sciences, is quoted in stories in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post (via HealthDay News), Reuters and on WHYY Radio and CBS 3 discussing his new Journal of the National Cancer Institute study showing that women who carry the BRCA genetic mutations – which place them at high risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer – can substantially reduce their cancer risk by having their ovaries removed. Rebbeck’s meta-analysis of ten previous studies, conducted with Susan Domchek, MD, associate professor hematology-oncology and Director of the Cancer Risk Evaluation Program, shows that women who undergo the procedure halve their risk of developing breast cancer and cut their risk of ovarian cancer by 80 percent. Penn patient Sandra Cohen, who had her ovaries and breasts removed after learning she was a BRCA carrier -- both her mother and grandmother died of breast cancer -- is also featured in the Inquirer story and the CBS 3 segment. News about the research also aired on NBC News affiliates in Pittsburg, Dayton, several other cities around the nation.

Philadelphia Inquirer story

Washington Post story

WHYY Radio story

Reuters story

MedPage Today story