Should we start screening women for ovarian cancer?

The answer is no.

Besides the fact that the USPSTF already recommends against ovarian cancer screening, MedPage Today reports a study concluding that screening led to a high rate of unnecessary surgery.

During four years of screening with a transvaginal ultrasound and the CA 125 biomarker , “the surgery-to-cancer ratio was 19.5:1,” meaning that almost 20 surgeries would be needed for every case of ovarian cancer detected. And furthermore, of the ovarian cancers, 72 percent were already at an advanced stage.

There is no doubt that ovarian cancer is deadly. However, the current means of early prevention clearly aren’t good enough. Until they are, we are subjecting women to a host of unnecessary ovarian surgeries which, in the end, may not be life saving anyways.

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