Project ID: 2015_001_HIC_01

For women at increased risk of ovarian cancer, removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries will substantially reduce their risk of ovarian cancer, and may reduce the risk of breast cancer. However, the consequences of this risk-reducing surgery for sexual health, menopausal symptoms, bone and cardiovascular health and cognitive functions are poorly understood.

This research is to find out more about the effects of menopause after removal of the ovaries and how that may impact on a woman’s life. This information will then be used to inform health care for other women who decide to have this surgery.

This project is looking to recruit both healthy women (low risk) and women who are at increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer because they have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer or because they have been diagnosed as carriers of the BRCA1 or 2 gene mutations (high risk). High risk women eligible for the project are those who are planning to have the risk-reducing surgery in the near future but also those choosing to delay the surgery for 2 or more years.

 

The researcher: Professor Martha Hickey

Martha Hickey is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Melbourne and Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Yale University, Connecticut, USA. She initially trained as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK and then qualified in Medicine in 1990 from the University of Bristol. She completed her specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2000 at Imperial College School of Medicine, London. She then moved to Australia permanently.

Professor Hickey is an experienced clinician researcher in the field of Gynaecology. In her clinical practice she is head of the Menopause Unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Parkville, Melbourne. This clinical service in particular offers multidisciplinary care for women with menopausal symptoms following cancer diagnosis and treatment. She has clinical and research interests in the development of non-hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms and in the mechanisms of abnormal bleeding in women using sex steroids for contraception or hormone replacement therapy.

 

Who is eligible?

This project is looking for women who are either:

  • 18-50 years of age
  • Healthy and not planning any pregnancies for at least 2 years
  • Are willing to be a member of the project control group

Or

  • 18-50 years of age
  • Are at an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer due to carriage of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations or due to a family history of ovarian or breast cancer.
  • Are planning on having ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to reduce the risk of these cancers but have chosen to delay this surgery for at least 2 years
  • Are not planning any pregnancies for at least 2 years
  • Are willing to be a member of the project control group

Or

  • 18-50 years of age
  • Are at an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer due to carriage of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations or due to a family history of ovarian or breast cancer
  • Are planning in the near future on having ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to reduce the risk of these cancers
  • Are willing to be a member of the project high risk intervention group

 

What does this project involve?

If you decide to express interest in this project you will be contacted by the Research Nurse to discuss the study in detail. You will be given an opportunity to ask questions and ensure the project is right for you. Your decision to take part is always your choice. Before you agree to participate in this project you will be given detailed information about what is involved.

Involvement in this project will require 4-5 visits with the research nurse over a period of 24 months. You will undertake a series of questionnaires and cognitive tests, as well as bone density testing and blood tests. Participants in the control group will not be asked to undergo any surgical procedures as part of this project. Those already planning surgical removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes will not be asked to undergo any additional surgical procedures as part of this study.

 

Where is the project being conducted?

Study visits will be conducted at both Melbourne and Sydney sites including: (i) The Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, (ii) Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW, and (iii) Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW.

How do I express interest in participating?

To get more information about this project:

  • Click on “Yes, I’m interested” at the bottom of this page and follow the prompts.
  • Call us on 1300 709 485 and we can help you through the process. Register4 is an online register, so have your email address ready.

After we verify your details, we will send you an invitation email. The invitation email formally asks whether you give Register4 permission to forward your contact details to the researcher. You will also have the opportunity to specify which contact details you would like us to send to the researcher on your behalf.