Ovarian Cancer and Prophylactic Hysterectomy

In this paper, the analysis of the article about the role of prophylactic hysterectomy will be developed to identify its main “take-away” ideas, investigate the ethical dilemmas of the surgery, and discuss the options patients with ovarian cancer may have when they address to healthcare providers. Villella et al. (2006) state that ovarian cancer is the disease that bothers many women around the whole globe, and its lifetime risk is about 1-2% in the general population. The main conclusion that can be made after reading the article is that the worth of hysterectomy remains unclear today. Despite the existing studies, people are not able to give one definite conclusion that hysterectomy is the best option for females who want to avoid cancer in their lives.

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Prophylactic surgery may be considered as an effective tool to reduce the risks of having cancer. Still, people should not forget about the existing ethical issues regarding this type of treatment. It is a preventive type of treatment, meaning that not all cancer cases may be treated with the help of hysterectomy. People may question the necessity of this step. In addition, a hysterectomy is a personal decision. Still, patients are not usually aware of the outcomes, threats, and benefits of this surgery. Due to the lack of knowledge, they ask other people to give explanations and share their knowledge. The dilemma is that the knowledge and attitudes of other people can influence a personal opinion of a patient about the necessity of this surgery.

It is not enough to know how to diagnose and identify cancer at early stages. The awareness of ethical consideration does not help patients make their final decisions. It is necessary to know all treatment options that can be offered to patients, including surgery and chemotherapy (Jayson, Kohn, Kitchener, & Ledermann, 2014). Education and screening play an important role in treatment. Female patients have to take numerous tests and communicate with different doctors to understand if hysterectomy can be effective. Villella et al. (2006) admit that there is not 100% protection against cancer even after hysterectomy. Therefore, if a patient with a strong family history of ovarian cancer asks for help, it is better to start with CT scans, MRI, blood tests, laparoscopy, and biopsy (in case a tumor is discovered). Then, genetic testing may be recommended. Finally, there are many partner organizations and programs in each stated where people may share their experience in cancer survival and inspire each other. This option may be used by people with no health insurance or who cannot allow specialized screening and tests. Ovarian cancer is the disease that any person may have. Still, it is wrong to believe that prophylactic hysterectomy is the only effective decision that can be made.


Jayson, G.C., Kohn, E.C., Kitchener, H.C., & Ledermann, J.A. (2014). Ovarian cancer. The Lancet, 384(9951), 1376-1388. Web.

Villella, J.A., Parmar, M., Donohue, K., Fahey, C., Piver, M.S., & Rodabaugh, K. (2006). Role of prophylactic hysterectomy in patients at high risk for hereditary cancers. Gynecologic Oncology, 102(2006), 475-479. Web.

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