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Yes, you still have a risk of ovarian cancer or a type of cancer that acts just like it (primary peritoneal cancer) if you've had a hysterectomy.
Your risk depends on the type of hysterectomy you had:
Total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy. This procedure removes your cervix and uterus as well as both ovaries and fallopian tubes. This makes ovarian cancer less likely to occur, but it does not remove all risk.
You still have a small risk of what's called primary peritoneal cancer, which may result from ovarian cells that migrated to the peritoneal area during each menstrual cycle before your ovaries were removed. These cells can become cancerous later on. Alternatively, since the peritoneum and ovaries arise from the same tissues during embryonic development, it's possible that cancer could arise from the cells of the peritoneum.
Currently, there are no effective screening tests for ovarian cancer in women with an average risk of the disease. If you're concerned about your risk, discuss your options with your doctor.
Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, M.D.
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