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Susan M. Domchek, Jill E. Stopfer and Timothy R. Rebbeck

Bilateral risk-reducing oophorectomy (BRRO) is widely used for cancer risk reduction in women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutations. BRRO significantly reduces breast cancer risk by approximately 50% and ovarian cancer risk by 85% to 95%, but it may be accompanied by menopausal symptoms, impaired quality of life, and accelerated bone loss. Therefore, decisions regarding the timing of BRRO, the risks and benefits of a simultaneous hysterectomy, and the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) must be made in concert with the patient and individualized to their circumstances. However, recent data demonstrate that HRT after BRRO in unaffected premenopausal women does not negate the breast cancer risk reduction that BRRO provides. This article reviews the studies regarding BRRO in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, with particular focus on the use of HRT.