Ovarian Ablation as Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer
If you have not gone through menopause, your ovaries are your main source of estrogen. Estrogen causes some breast cancers to grow, and treatment of these cancers may include stopping the ovaries from making estrogen. This is called ovarian ablation or ovarian suppression. It can be done in two ways.
The ovaries may be taken out by surgery. This surgery is called oophorectomy or ovariectomy. You will get general anesthesia before the surgery so that you’ll go to sleep and won’t feel anything. The surgeon may do open surgery, which means you’ll have a large incision. Or you may be able to have laparoscopic surgery, which means you have smaller incisions. The side effects of surgery and your recovery time depend on which procedure you have done.
Another way to stop the ovaries from making estrogen is to use radiation to inactivate them.
What to expect after ovarian ablation
Both surgery and radiation cause premature menopause. This means you'll stop having periods, and you may have these side effects:
Change in sex drive
Other symptoms of menopause
Loss of bone mass, which puts you at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis