A recent study whose findings are yet to be confirmed seems to have good news for women who may be willing to screen for ovarian cancer but have no idea where to begin. It is through a blood test referred to as CA125, which tends to pick up signs of tumors in the ovaries even though sometimes the test may become insensitive to growths.
A single reading from CA125 may not be so helpful because women have varying baseline levels of the substance. However, the initial results of the tests were promising, but follow-up of the trial are of essence to determine how much more the mortality rate can be reduced. According to Dr. Usha Menon, head of the gynecological cancer center at University College London, the results are almost there, but a lot of monitoring is still needed to ascertain them.
More than 200,000 women aged 50 to 74 were sampled for the study that run for as long as 14 years. From the sample, half the women did not undertake any screening while a quarter of them underwent an annual ultrasound. And 50,000 of them got an annual blood test for CA-125. Over the period of study, observations indicate that 1,200 of the women got ovarian cancer.
Well, the results may have a gleam of assurance in diagnosing and treating cancer and may require additional studies to determine how often women should be getting screened. However, Don Dizon, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Centre says that it’s a hopeful study since it highlights the need for screening.
Apparently, most women have no signs before the diagnosis of ovarian cancer but at diagnosis, a majority of those with cancer have advanced disease. But The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention does not back the screening of ovarian cancer.
The vice president for cancer screening at the American Cancer Society Robert Smith acknowledges that ovarian cancer is a serious problem. And women are not getting a lot of help to facilitate early detection due to its lack of symptoms and aggressive growth. However, if the recent study is anything to go by, there is hope to change the current status.