Nightly News   |  February 24, 2014

Study: Ovary Removal May Reduce Risks for Women with Cancer Gene

A new study suggests women with genetic mutations carrying the risk of breast and ovarian cancer can reduce their risk of cancer if they have their ovaries removed by the age of 35.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> first, the news tonight involving the prevention of ovarian cancer , in women that have a genetic mutation that involves the disease. and it proves that women should make early treatments even more than was thought before. we get more from dr. nancy snyderman .

>> reporter: nicole armstrong credits her older sister, katrina, an award-winning olympian with saving her life.

>> because of everything my sister had gone through, had she not had gotten sick it could have been me.

>> reporter: katrina died two years ago from breast cancer , she has a gene mutation associated with breast cancer and ovarian cancer . it was a wake-up call for the rest of the family to have the genetic testing .

>> we looked around in the room, the counselor said it would be positive.

>> reporter: their grandmother also died of breast cancer . and in their case, their gene mutation runs on their dad's side of the family. nicole had surgery to reduce her risk of cancer, but now at 28 years of age, she has another big decision to make.

>> having my ovaries removed is a big fear of mine.

>> reporter: they suggest that women with the brc 1 mutation can reduce their risk of breast cancer by 80% and their risk of death by 70% if they have their ovaries and tubes removed by 35. doctors say this is a new study.

>> the amazing thing that excites me about this study is that it gives us more information and more hard data to provide the patients to guide their treatment decisions and their timing decisions for these surgeries.

>> reporter: while nicole is in a serious relationship and hopes to have children one day, today's study will force her and her women like her to make some tough decisions that could save their lives. and some of those decisions are whether to get genetically tested if you have a strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer . and if you have that brc 1 gene then have your o skr aries taken out early and plan to save your eggs for future planning. a lot of hard decisions but there are options, brian.