Prevent its appearance by removing vulnerable organs


  • Preventive surgery can be considered to prevent stomach cancer from the age of twenty.
  • In 2018, there were 5,193 new cases of ovarian cancer according to Santé Publique France.

according to public health FranceIn 2018, there were 382,000 new cases of cancer, 54% of which were in men. Of these, some could have been avoided with preventive surgery. This technique consists in removing an organ that was healthy at the time of the operation, but that was at high risk of becoming cancerous.

Pathogenic variants, signs of at-risk organs

But how do you know if an organ is more likely to develop cancer? Some people’s genetic heritage includes “disease-causing variants”. These are abnormalities — or mutations found in certain genes — that could be evidence that patients are more likely to develop cancer in a particular organ.

In most cases, these abnormalities are hereditary, that is, they are transmitted from the parents. To find out if a person is pregnant or not, you need to get a genetic test. Thus, doctors will be able to determine the risk of developing cancer – as well as its location – in the future.

When do you consider preventive surgery?

When one or more anomalies are detected, preventive surgery may then be considered. But the problem is the uncertainty because the cancer, even if there are genetic predispositions, will not necessarily develop … At this stage, the patient is generally in good health.

This type of prevention, prophylactic surgery, is present for stomach cancer, especially when disease-causing variants are detected in the CDH1 gene. According to many medical professionals, gastric sleeve removal is an effective protection against stomach cancer. However, this decision is difficult to make because it harms the patient’s quality of life: weight loss, long-term effect on diet, change in feeling of hunger, etc.

For breast cancer, enhanced surveillance may be sufficient

For breast and ovarian cancers, disease-causing variants are problematic in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. According to one study Published in 2017 in the journal JAMA, it increases the risk of cancer by 70% for the breast and 20 to 40% for the ovary.

Once these pathogenic variants are detected, some women opt for preventive surgery, here the removal of the breasts or ovaries. However, enhanced monitoring by regular checkups may be sufficient to prevent the onset of cancer and thus avoid patients undergoing breast surgery. On the other hand, there is no effective method of examination of the ovaries.

Every year, many women suffer from these two types of cancer. The breast is the most common: nearly 60,000 new cases were discovered in 2018 in France, according to the National Cancer Institute.


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