A new screening strategy for ovarian cancer has now been developed by a team of scientists led by Karen Lu, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas. Scientists have developed a new screening strategy for ovarian cancer that can accurately detect disease before it turns out to be lethal.
Currently there are no established screening strategies that stand as standard procedure for ovarian cancer and the disease often causes no specific symptoms. It is also difficult to detect in the early stages when it is most responsive to treatment. This is the reason why ovarian cancer seems lethal, as most women tend to reach the advanced stage and then get diagnosed. This new advanced screening strategy incorporates changes in a blood protein called CA125 which is a known tumour marker. The scientists who researched for 11 years took 4051 post-menopausal women and underwent an annual CA125 blood test. The women were divided in three groups based on a calculation called the “Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm”. These were, those who receive another CA125 test one year later meaning low risk, those who should receive a repeat CA125 in three months meaning intermediate risk and those who receive a Trans vaginal ultrasound and be referred to a gynecologic oncologist which is high risk.
The result showed an average of 5.8 per cent of women was found to be of intermediate risk each year, meaning that they should receive a CA125 test in three months.
Karen Lu said, "We are currently waiting for the results of a larger, randomised study currently being conducted in the United Kingdom that uses the same Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm in a similar population of women. If the results of this study are also positive, then this will result in a change in practice,"
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