Satisfaction with ovarian carcinoma risk-reduction strategies among women at high risk for breast and ovarian carcinoma


  • Presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, Chicago, Illinois, June 1-5, 2007.

  • See editorial on pages 2588–9, this issue.



Women who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer have 2 major management options to reduce their risk of ovarian cancer: periodic screening (PS) or risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO). Little is known regarding patient satisfaction levels with risk-reduction strategies. Thus, the authors sought to determine levels of patient satisfaction with PS versus RRSO and to identify factors that may influence satisfaction.


As part of a larger study, women who received testing for the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 were sent a follow-up questionnaire packet to explore issues related to cancer risk reduction. The authors report on the results from a variety of validated instruments, including the Satisfaction With Decision (SWD) scale, focused on the choice between PS and RRSO.


In total, 544 surveys were mailed, and 313 responses were received (58%). The overall satisfaction rate among respondents was high. The median SWD score was significantly higher in the RRSO group compared with the PS group (P < .001). BRCA mutation carriers had higher median SWD scores regardless of management type (P = .01). Low satisfaction scores were associated with high levels of uncertainty and the perception that the decision between PS and RRSO was difficult to make (P = .001). Satisfaction was unrelated to demographics, clinical factors, or concerns of cancer risk.


In the current study, the majority of women who were at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer were satisfied with their choice of risk-reduction strategy. Difficulty with decision making was associated with lower satisfaction levels. Improved education and support through the decision-making process may enhance overall levels of satisfaction. Cancer 2011. © 2010 American Cancer Society.