Ovarian Cancer Screening Tests Effectiveness Remains Inconclusive
Detecting early signs of ovarian cancer is a daunting challenge given the fact that most of the symptoms often resemble those of much less threatening medical conditions. As a consequence, many die because ovarian tumors can be very difficult to spot early on.
However, medical scientific community seemed quite encouraged by a recent development in cancer screening which offers doctors a valuable opportunity to save lives before the cancer could worsen.
According to BBC News, a fourteen-year study recently published in the Lancet was a promising milestone in cancer treatment and prevention.
In the study, blood samples were taken from 200, 000 women and were regularly monitored for any changes in the level of CA125- a chemical in women's blood produced by ovarian tissues. Any unusual increase in CA125 level is interpreted as a red flag for potential ovarian cancer.
In a report by CBS News, those women who underwent screening exams with annual blood tests and ultrasound had 20% less risk of death from the cancer than those who did not.
"This study shows that you could decrease deaths from a highly lethal cancer. That can't be underestimated," told Dr. Karen Lu of High Risk Ovarian Cancer Screening program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas as quoted saying by NBC News.
Despite the initial positive welcome by medical experts, doctors cautiously remarked that the results were still premature and inconclusive.
"It's uncertain whether or not screening can reduce ovarian cancer deaths overall...While this is an important step in ovarian cancer research, we would not recommend a national screening program at this point," said Dr. Fiona Reddington of Cancer Research UK as directly quoted in a published news story by Fox News.