Prophylactic oophorectomy and colorectal cancer in premenopausal patients

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Since 1960, 162 patients with colorectal carcinoma have undergone oophorectomy at the Ferguson Clinic; 137 of these patients were operated on from 1969 to 1976 and were reviewed.

Six of 12 patients developing metastasis to the ovaries were premenopausal. In review of the overall experience with premenopausal patients, metastasis to the ovaries developed in 22 to 25 per cent of patients. This is significantly higher than the usual overall rates of metastasis which are reported to occur with a frequency of 3 to 8 per cent.

The survival rate of prophylactic oophorectomy for microscopic metastasis to ovaries and the high rate of metastasis in premenopausal patients, warrants prophylactic oophorectomy in all patientsregardless of age. Oophorectomy in patients with colorectal cancer can no longer be considered prophylactic, but therapeutic.

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