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Fatigue and Quality of Life After Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy in Women at Increased Risk for Hereditary Breast-Ovarian Cancer
  1. Trond M. Michelsen, MD*,,
  2. Anne Dørum, MD, PhD,
  3. Claes G. Tropé, MD, PhD,§,
  4. Sophie D. Fosså, MD, PhD§ and
  5. Alv A. Dahl, MD, PhD§
  1. * Department of Gynaecology, Sørlandet Hospital, Arendal;
  2. National Resource Centre for Women's Health, and
  3. Department of Women's Health, Section of Gynaecological Oncology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, and
  4. § Faculty Division, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, University of Oslo; and
  5. Department of Clinical Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Trond Melbye Michelsen, MD, Department of Gynaecology, Sørlandet Hospital, Servicebox 605, 4809 Arendal, Norway. E-mail: trond.melbye.michelsen{at}


Background: Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) is the safest intervention for prevention of ovarian cancer in women at increased risk for hereditary breast-ovarian cancer. Little is known about other effects of RRSO. The objective of this study was to investigate quality of life (QoL) and fatigue in a sample of women who had RRSO for increased cancer risk and to compare the findings with those of age-matched controls from the general population (NORM).

Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional follow-up mailed questionnaire design, 301 (67%) of 450 invited Norwegian women with RRSO attended. The questionnaire contained measures of QoL, fatigue, anxiety/depression, and body image, and questions about demography, lifestyle, and morbidity. The findings were compared with those of the NORM.

Results: For RRSO women, mean age at survey was 53.7 years (SD, 9.2), mean age at RRSO was 48.4 years (SD 8.4), and median follow-up time was 5.0 years (range, 1-15 years). No clinically significant differences were observed between RRSO and NORM for any of the QoL or fatigue dimensions. In subgroup analyses of the RRSO group, no clinically significant differences in QoL and fatigue were observed between those who had surgery before or after age 50 years, or between BRCA1/2 carriers and women with unknown mutation statuses. Women who had cancer (32%), however, showed clinically significant lower levels of QoL and more fatigue than women without cancer.

Conclusions: Women who had RRSO showed similar levels of QoL and fatigue as NORM. Women who had cancer before RRSO had lower levels of QoL and more fatigue.

  • Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy
  • Ovarian cancer
  • BRCA1/2 mutations
  • Fatigue
  • Quality of life

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