Women's Health Base

A look at women, the world and the web

Silent killer could be screened out

Posted by hannahflynn on March 11, 2009

Late diagnosis of ovarian cancer could be greatly reduced if screening for the disease were implemented, health officials have decided.

More than 200,000 women between the ages of 50 and 74 were screened annually for CA125 (which is a tumour marker) followed by transvaginal ultrasound screening in women at high risk, or annual screening with transvaginal ultrasound for the UK trial.

Screening detected cancer in 90 percent of women with the disease.

Ovarian cancer is known as a ‘silent killer’ as symptoms generally do not appear until the advanced stages.

The decision could affect women who are carriers of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 which increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as the trials found women who underwent genetic screening and cancer screening were more likely to benefit from early diagnosis.

The study does not yet prove women who are screened live longer than those who aren’t, but the trial will continue until 2014 to study this.

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