HealthDay News — Oophorectomy may lead to increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to research reported in the June issue of the British Journal of Surgery.

The latest findings are based on records from women who’d undergone oophorectomy for benign indications between 1965 and 2011. The procedures included unilateral and bilateral oophorectomy, and hysterectomy without specification of whether the ovaries were removed or not.

The team found that among 195,973 Swedish women who’d undergone oophorectomy, the risk of eventually being diagnosed with colorectal cancer was 30% higher than the norm for women their age. Women who had both ovaries removed had a 2.3-times higher risk of rectal cancer than those who had only one ovary removed. Once factors such as comorbidity, alcohol, and tobacco use were considered, women who had both ovaries removed or who had undergone a possible oophorectomy generally had a higher cancer risk than women who had just one ovary removed.

Lead researcher Josefin Segelman, MD, PhD, a senior consultant colorectal surgeon at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, told HealthDay that her team had no genetic information on the study group, so it’s not known how many women had their ovaries removed because of a BRCA gene mutation.

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