Funding period

Dec 2023 - Nov 2024



About the project

Ovarian Cancer Canada is collaborating with the Gynecologic Cancer Survivorship Clinic (GCSC) in Vancouver, a specialized clinic that serves women in British Columbia at increased risk for ovarian cancer due to an inherited mutation in a hereditary cancer risk gene (these individuals are also known as “previvors”). The mission of this specialized clinic is to improve the quality of peri-operative care, education and hormone therapy support for previvors embarking on risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (surgical removal of their fallopian tubes and ovaries for prevention of ovarian cancer).

As part of an over-arching goal to optimize the pathway to ovarian cancer prevention for all individuals at high risk in Canada, OCC conducted preliminary investigations in 2019-2020 into the experience of previvors who had undergone genetic testing and/or risk-reducing surgery in their community. Surveys and semi-structured interviews from individuals across Canada revealed gaps and inequities along the pathway, from discussion of family history with primary care providers to timely access to genetic testing and risk-reducing surgery surgery.

In this study, semi-structured interviews will be conducted by OCC with previvors who have undergone risk-reducing surgery or are planning to undergo risk-reducing surgery and are being cared for at the GCSC. Interviewees can be at different steps along the prevention pathway: pre-surgical consultation performed, risk-reducing surgery performed or currently receiving follow-up care. The experience of previvors receiving care at this specialized centre will be compared to those who received care at a non-specialized centre (data previously collected by OCC), for variables such as adherence to clinical recommendations and satisfaction with the information and care provided.

A diagram of an Oophorectomy

Oophorectomy refers to the surgical removal of the ovaries

A diagram of Salpingectomy

Salpingectomy refers to the surgical removal of the fallopian tubes. Previvors are recommended to have both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, with the best age for surgery determined by the affected gene and family/personal cancer history.