Quality of life and psychosexual adjustment after prophylactic oophorectomy for a family history of ovarian cancer.
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OBJECTIVES: 1) To evaluate a woman's satisfaction with the decision to have a prophylactic oophorectomy for family history of ovarian cancer. 2) To explore the potential costs related to surgery such a menopausal symptoms and satisfaction with sexual functioning. METHODS: Women who had undergone a prophylactic oophorectomy for a family history of ovarian cancer in Ontario were invited to participate. Forty women returned a package of questionnaires addressing demographic information, family history, decisional conflict, risk comprehension, menopause-specific quality of life, satisfaction with sexual function, and other psychosocial questionnaires. RESULTS: The mean age of respondents was 54.8 years. Perceived risk for developing ovarian cancer decreased significantly after surgery (p = 0.0001). Overall quality of life on the SF-36 Health Survey demonstrated a level consistent with emotional and physical wellbeing in the general population. The Menopause-Specific Quality of Life scores were reduced compared to women of similar age on all parameters: vasomotor symptoms, psychosocial support, physical status and sexual quality of life. Satisfaction with sexual functioning was moderately to extremely compromised in 42.1%-53.7% of women. CONCLUSION: While this study shows that women who choose to have prophylactic oophorectomy for a family history of ovarian cancer have a good overall quality of life and significant decrease in risk perception as a result of surgery, they experience menopausal symptoms and compromised sexual functioning.
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