Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Genetic Counseling

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Molly Daniels

Committee Member

Denise Nebgen

Committee Member

Charlotte Sun

Committee Member

Karen Lu

Committee Member

Jennifer Czerwinski


Germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with significantly increased risks for ovarian cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) currently recommends that female BRCA mutation carriers undergo risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) after age 35; however, not all women elect this option. The purpose of this study was to prospectively survey women with BRCA mutations currently undergoing ovarian cancer screening about their intention to have an RRSO and the various factors influencing their decision. Of the 26 women who completed our survey, 26 (100%, CI: 86.8-100) plan to undergo an RRSO in their lifetime. The average woman reported 6.7 motivations and 2.9 barriers to RRSO, indicating that in our population women tend to have more reasons for electing, rather than avoiding, this surgery. We further found that while most women appeared to share the same motivations for surgery, they often had unique barriers that were not common to others. The most important reasons in favor of surgery included a desire to reduce one’s risk for ovarian cancer and live longer for family members. The most important barrier to RRSO was fear of the symptoms related to menopause. We believe these results will assist healthcare providers when discussing the option of RRSO with BRCA mutation carriers undergoing ovarian cancer screening.


BRCA1, BRCA2, risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy, decision making, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer



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