Risk Management Options
High-risk women have options for managing their risks for breast and ovarian cancer. Risk-management decisions are very personal and the best option depends on many factors. There are 3 general categories of risk-management options which are outlined below and are discussed in more detail in their respective sections.
- Chemoprevention: using medication to lower the risk for cancer
- Surveillance: using enhanced screening tools to try to find cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage
- Prophylactic (risk-reducing) surgery: surgically removing healthy tissue or organs to prevent cancer.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is a consortium of cancer centers with experts in management of hereditary cancer. The NCCN updates their guidelines for risk management for people with hereditary risk for cancer, based on the latest research. In general, NCCN guidelines dictate the standard of care for high-risk patients.
It is important to remember that none of the risk-management options will eliminate all cancer risk. Some risk always remains, even with the surgical options.
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