Ovarian cancer is often misdiagnosed as indigestion and by the time it is actually detected by a doctor, the disease could have spread across the body. The National Institutes of Health say ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women and that it causes more deaths than any other form of female reproductive cancer.
One would think screening women over 55, who are most likely to develop this type of cancer, with transvaginal ultrasound and a blood test that measures serum cancer antigen 125, would undoubtedly be the correct course of action.
Yet new research by Saundra S. Buys, M.D., of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, finds the tests can lead to unnecessary surgeries and complications in women who have no cancer at all.
Researchers also came to the surprising conclusion that not all ovarian cancers are deadly or would even need treatment.
The study was just published in the June 8 issue of JAMA. Dr. Buys and her team looked at studies of nearly 80,000 women to compare the results of women who received standard health care without specific testing for ovarian cancer, unless they showed obvious symptoms, with the results of women who had regular ovarian cancer screens. The results indicated there was no reduced risk of death from ovarian cancer for those thoroughly screened for the disease in comparison to women who received basic care.
Yet the study revealed a huge difference between the health outcomes of the two groups of women. Those who had the cancer screenings had a drastic increase in invasive medical procedures and related difficulties as a direct result of being screened.
Angeles hospital in Mexico has an program with a high success rate for ovarian cancer patients, even in the later stages of the disease. For more information on what we offer please contact us using the form on the right.