U.S. panel rejects ovarian cancer screens for low-risk women
Renewing prior recommendations, experts say current tests not worth it for most.
(HealthDay)—A leading U.S. government panel has recommended against ovarian cancer screening for women who are not at high risk for the disease.
The blood test and transvaginal ultrasound that are currently used to spot ovarian cancer may cause more harm than benefit for those patients, according to final guidelines issued Monday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Women who have the genetic mutations (BRCA1/BRCA2) or family histories that raise their chances of developing ovarian cancer should be referred for genetic testing and counseling, the recommendations add.
These latest guidelines, which were also published Sept. 11 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, mirror those set by the task force back in 2004.
"There is no existing method of screening for ovarian cancer that is effective in reducing deaths," Dr. Virginia Moyer, chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, said in a USPSTF statement issued Monday. "In fact, a high percentage of women who undergo screening experience false-positive test results and consequently may be subjected to unnecessary harms, such as major surgery," she said.
"In light of this, there is a critical need to develop better screening tests for ovarian cancer," Moyer added.
Experts agreed that effective tests to screen for ovarian cancer are desperately needed.
"It is very important that the population at large understands that screening with [ultrasound] and CA 125 is not beneficial at this time," said Dr. Diana Contreras, director of gynecologic oncology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "It is clear new avenues need to be pursued, and women need to insist that more research is performed attempting to find an adequate screening mechanism so that ovarian cancer can be detected at a curable stage."
In addition, Dr. Elizabeth Poynor, a gynecologic oncologist and pelvic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said: "The task force statement highlights the need for innovations and ongoing clinical investigation in ovarian cancer screening techniques. Women should review with their health care providers the early warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, as well as their family and personal health histories in order to develop individualized strategies for risk reduction. Women should be offered participation in clinical trials in ovarian cancer screening, when available and appropriate," she added.
Dr. David Grossman, a member of the task force and senior investigator with Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, said that "the tests that we have, unfortunately, just aren't very accurate and, with a lot of false positives, a lot of women get harmed with unnecessary biopsies and surgeries."
A large study published last year found no difference in mortality between women who were randomly assigned to receive a blood test plus the ultrasound compared to those who had "usual care."
What's more, some 10 percent of women who underwent screening received a false-positive result and one-third of these had an ovary removed unnecessarily.
Another study estimated that 33 surgeries were needed to diagnose one case of ovarian cancer using the blood test/ultrasound screening.
Preliminary data from yet another trial, ongoing in the United Kingdom, also turned up false-positive results in about 10 percent of women undergoing screening. Half of those women had surgery and about 4 percent of these experienced a major complication from the surgery.
Like many screening tests, the blood test plus ultrasound for ovarian cancer "doesn't work, is potentially dangerous and also costs a lot of money," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La. "You're giving people a false sense of security, and it creates a lot of false positives, which ultimately results in a lot of unnecessary surgeries."
The task force's recommendations are also in line with recommendations from the American Cancer Society and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Grossman said.
This leaves women with no good test to screen for ovarian cancer, considered a "silent killer" because symptoms are often noticed too late to be treatable.
And there are no other techniques on the horizon, Grossman added.
More information: The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on ovarian cancer.
Journal reference: Annals of Internal Medicine
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
- U.S. panel rejects ovarian cancer screening Apr 10, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Ovarian cancer screening not catching early disease Apr 01, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Ovarian cancer screening does not appear to reduce risk of ovarian cancer death Jun 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Symptom screening plus a simple blood test improves early detection of ovarian cancer Jun 23, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Biological diversity of ovarian cancer lessens value of screening Dec 13, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
Cancer 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
Cancer 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
Cancer May 18, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
(HealthDay)—Concurrent use of two immune checkpoint antibodies—ipilimumab and nivolumab—may be effective for the treatment of advanced melanoma, according to a proof-of-principal study presented in ...
Cancer May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The risks of metastasis and death associated with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) are low, but significant, and risk factors for poor outcome include tumor diameter, invasion beyond ...
Cancer May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have identified a potential new risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea: asthma. Using data from the National Institutes of Health (Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)-funded Wisconsin ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have turned their view of osteoarthritis (OA) inside out. Literally. Instead of seeing the painful degenerative disease as a problem primarily of the cartilage that cushions joints, ...
11 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (4) | 0 |
In their quest to learn more about the variability of cells between and within tissues, biomedical scientists have devised tools capable of simultaneously measuring dozens of characteristics of individual ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A new study looking at sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and markers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and neuroimaging adds to the growing body of research linking the two.
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
The hunt for an HIV vaccine has gobbled up $8 billion in the past decade, and the failure of the most recent efficacy trial has delivered yet another setback to 26 years of efforts.
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Gourmands and foodies everywhere have long recognized ginger as a great way to add a little peppery zing to both sweet and savory dishes; now, a study from researchers at Columbia University shows purified components of the ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0