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Dr Mujumdar on Awareness Initiatives to Address Unmet Needs in Ovarian Cancer

Vaidehi Mujumdar, MD, discusses how awareness initiatives can help address unmet needs in patients with ovarian cancer on World Ovarian Cancer Day.

Vaidehi Mujumdar, MD, first-year gynecology oncology fellow, Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute, discusses how awareness initiatives can help address unmet needs in patients with ovarian cancer on World Ovarian Cancer Day.

Awareness initiatives play a critical role in addressing the challenges faced by patients with ovarian cancer, particularly in improving early detection and prevention efforts, Mujumdar begins. Heightened awareness encourages individuals experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer to seek timely evaluation by a gynecologist, enabling early detection of potential abnormalities that may warrant further investigation, she explains.

Prevention and risk reduction strategies are paramount in combating ovarian cancer, Mujumdar expands. Opportunistic salpingectomy, the surgical removal of fallopian tubes during other abdominal surgeries for patients who have completed childbearing, has emerged as a promising preventive measure, according to Mujumdar. This procedure, routinely performed alongside cesarean sections or cyst removals, aims to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by eliminating potential sites of cancer origin within the fallopian tubes, she states. Notably, opportunistic salpingectomy facilitates the histological examination of the fimbriae, potentially improving disease outcomes by identifying mutations associated with high-grade serous ovarian cancer, Mujumdar says.

Clinical trials offer further hope for at-risk individuals, Mujumdar emphasizes. The SOROCk study (NCT04251052) is investigating whether preemptive fallopian tube removal followed by subsequent ovarian removal reduces ovarian cancer risk to the same extent as the standard procedure of removing both organs, Mujumdar explains, adding that patient awareness of such trials empowers them to engage with health care providers.

Ovarian cancer has been described akin to a dandelion scattering seeds throughout the abdomen once it spreads, she continues. The interconnectedness of the fallopian tubes with the abdominal cavity underscores the challenge of treating advanced ovarian cancer once it disseminates, according to Mujumdar. Therefore, preventive surgeries targeting the fallopian tubes represent an ideal approach to curtail disease progression, Mujumdar explains.

For patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer, understanding risk factors and recognizing symptoms remain crucial, Mujumdar notes. Equally important is the engagement with survivorship and advocacy groups, which provide invaluable support throughout the treatment journey, Mujumdar concludes.

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