UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Long-Term Non-Cancer Risks in People with BRCA Mutations following Risk-Reducing Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy and the Role of Hormone Replacement Therapy : A Review Nitschke, Amanda S.; do Valle, Helena Abreu; Dawson, Lesa; Kwon, Janice; Hanley, Gillian E.


Risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (RRBSO) is the gold standard preventative option for BRCA mutation carriers at high risk for ovarian and breast cancer. However, when performed at the recommended ages of 35–45 years, RRBSO induces immediate premature surgical menopause, along with the accompanying adverse psychosocial, cardiovascular, bone, and cognitive health consequences. While these health consequences have been thoroughly studied in the general population, little is known about the long-term health outcomes in the BRCA population. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) until the average age of natural menopause can help mitigate these health risks, yet the initiation of HRT is a complex decision among BRCA carriers due to concern of increasing the already high risk of breast cancer in these people. This review summarizes the current research on long-term non-cancer risks in BRCA carriers following RRBSO-induced premature surgical menopause, and highlights the existing evidence in support of HRT use in this population.

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