The Zoomer Report: Ovaries and Life Span

Each year, hundreds of thousands of women who undergo hysterectomies have their ovaries removed along with their uterus, a practice meant to protect them from ovarian cancer. But a new study has found that women who keep their ovaries live longer.

While women who had their ovaries removed developed fewer breast cancers and almost entirely eliminated their risk of ovarian cancer over 24 years of follow-up, they were more likely to develop heart disease than women who kept their ovaries, and they were more likely to die.

Their risk of heart disease was 17 per cent higher than the risk faced by women with ovaries. They also had a 17 per cent greater risk of dying of cancer. And in an unexpected finding, they were at greater risk for lung cancer. The findings, published in the May issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, raise questions about a widespread practice.

There is a big caveat, this does NOT apply to women with a family history that places you at high risk for ovarian cancer or breast cancer.


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About The Zoomer Report

Libby ZnaimerLibby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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