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Study backs preventive surgeries on women

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An extensive study of women at high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer provides additional support for the preventive removal of ovaries, a measure a Creighton University cancer researcher began recommending decades ago.

An international report published this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology indicates that removing ovaries in women who carried a genetic mutation called BRCA1 reduced by 56 percent the risk of developing breast cancer.

For women who carried the mutation, the risk was reduced by 46 percent. The risk reduction was greatest if the preventive surgery was performed on patients younger than 40. The international study matched 1,439 patients with breast cancer and 1,866 controls from a registry of patients who carry the mutations.

The study also indicated that the protection reduced the risk for at least 15 years. Several previous studies have backed ovary removal as reducing risk, but included fewer patients.

Dr. Henry Lynch, a co-author of the report, was among early physicians to recommend preventive mastectomy and ovary removal as an option for high-risk patients.

Lynch and his colleagues at Creighton began studying hereditary breast cancer-prone families in the late 1960s. Lynch identified ovarian cancer as a component with breast cancer in those families and described what today is known as Hereditary Breast/Ovarian Cancer Syndrome.

Tip of the week

Want the equivalent of a car alarm for your arm?

Doberman Security has released a pair of new products designed to help keep people safe while exercising at night or in remote areas.

The Active Alarm Combo features two products packaged together: A Power Button alarm that walkers and joggers can strap on their arm - - much like an iPod -- and a smaller Electronic Defense Whistle that can be carried in the palm of a person's hand, worn around the neck or fastened to a gym bag, clothing or backpack.

With the press of a button, both models turn loose a 100-decibel alarm and flashing red LED lights, a blast of light and sound designed to scare away attackers and draw help. The weatherproof devices, which come packaged together, retail for $49.99. They're available at and will be sold in retail stores.

Compiled by staff writer Julie Anderson.

(C) 2005 Omaha World-Herald. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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