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Should a Family History Be Taken From Every Woman With Ovarian Cancer?

Steven A. Narod, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(9):893-894. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430090015002.
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OF ALL the common adult cancers, ovarian cancer carries the highest familial risk, despite the fact that hereditary cancers of the breast and colon attract much greater attention. In this issue of the Archives, Kerber and Slattery1 report on the family relationships of 662 patients with ovarian cancer who were listed in both the Utah Cancer Registry and the Utah Population Database. They found a relative risk of 4.1 associated with a history of ovarian cancer in a first-degree relative. Overall, 22 (3.3%) of the 662 women with ovarian cancer had a mother or sister who was also affected. When a second case of ovarian cancer is diagnosed in a

See also page 905 family, the lifetime risk for the other female relatives escalates and genetic counseling is warranted. In some centers, prophylactic oophorectomy is offered to these women. When some of my colleagues and I recently interviewed 450


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