Are screenings for ovarian cancer reliable?

Frederick Friedman, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
At present, there does not seem to be a reliable screening test for ovarian cancer in low risk populations. Different blood tests and imaging studies (such as annual sonograms) have been proposed, but with disappointing results. There is hope on the horizon, however. For high risk individuals certain specific protocols for screening may yield results. In addition, there are several research endeavors looking at changes in "nanoproteins" (proteins that are found in minute levels in the bloodstream.) This field, called "Proteomics" holds promise, but such testing is not yet available or reliable enough to use on a widespread basis.
Gustavo Rodriguez, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
There have been many studies evaluating different preventative screening approaches. Consistently, the studies show that as many as half of the women who are discovered to have cancer while they’re on a screening trial actually have advanced ovarian cancer. So, despite the fact that they’re actually getting intensively followed with these tests, the screening still didn’t find it early in as many as half. It’s been really problematic.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.