WASHINGTON (AP) -- For women who carry a notorious cancer gene, surgery to remove healthy ovaries is one of the most protective steps they can take. New research suggests some may benefit most from having the operation as young as 35.
Women who inherit either of two faulty genes are at much higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer than other women -- and at younger ages.
A study released Monday is the largest yet to show the power of preventive ovarian surgery for those women. The surgery not only lowers their chances of getting either ovarian or breast cancer. The study estimates it also can reduce women's risk of death before age 70 by 77 percent.
Ovarian cancer is particularly deadly, and there is no good way to detect it early.