Last week, the Gynecologic Cancer Initiative launched our “Opportunistic Salpingectomy as a Strategy for Ovarian Cancer Prevention” video of their Beyond the Stories series to support the release of a research publication in the JAMA Network Open.  

The video features Dr. Gillian Hanley, senior author of this publication, who discusses her research on the safety and effectiveness of opportunistic salpingectomy (OS) as an ovarian cancer preventions strategy. While OS is recommended to prevent ovarian cancer, particularly high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), and the full extent of effectiveness of OS is still being studied, these early data are extremely promising. As the acceptability, safety and cost-effectiveness of OS as a preventative strategy has already been established, most professional gynecological societies around the world have recommended consideration of OS. Hanley’s findings strengthen the evidence for presenting this option to individuals at average risk of ovarian cancer. 

“So it’s exciting, it’s preliminary evidence that, you know, this intervention that we took a shot on back in 2010 is in fact saving lives in British Columbia. And it’s grown well beyond British Columbia now, so it’s saving lives around the world.”

Dr. Janice Kwon, alongside Justine Greene, discuss their reasons for undergoing OS in the video. Dr. Kwon does not have any known increased genetic risk for this cancer. However, the practice of OS is designed to prevent the 80% of HGSOC among people like her. “The decision for me to choose opportunistic salpingectomy really goes back to my perspective a health care provider and my interest in ovarian cancer prevention,” says Dr. Kwon.  

On the other hand, Justine Greene pursued OS due to her family’s history of ovarian cancer that resulted in the loss of her mother and grandmother. “I was 39 at the time when I had my tubes removed, I had a son, and I was done having children. So that seemed like a no brainer to me to have that surgery, it just seemed like the story needed to stop”, she shared emotionally in the video.  

Thank you to Justine Greene, Dr. Janice Kwon, and Dr. Gillian Hanley for making this video possible. Thank you to Michael Smith Health Research BC for funding this project and to to BC Women’s Health Foundation, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, BC Cancer Foundation and UBC Faculty of Medicine for supporting this project. 

You can watch the video and listen to Dr. Gillian Hanley in the most recent episode of the GOSH podcast to learn more about her research!  

Beyond the Stories Series video: Opportunistic Salpingectomy as a Strategy for Ovarian Cancer Prevention