News / Health

Ovarian Cancer Screening Questioned

A new study  finds there is really no point in screening women who don't have a history of the disease or symptoms of it.
A new study finds there is really no point in screening women who don't have a history of the disease or symptoms of it.

Multimedia

A new study shows that screening for ovarian cancer does not prevent deaths and may promote unnecessary surgery.

Marsha Rifkin's mother found out too late that she had ovarian cancer. "She was only 49, a few days away from her 50th birthday," she said.

She died of ovarian cancer, leaving behind five daughters who get tested every year. Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women. If it is caught early, the five year survival rate is 90 percent.

Most women are diagnosed when the disease is advanced and the chances of living five more years drop to 30 percent.

Ultrasound is one of the screening tools used to detect this type of cancer.

Doctors also use blood tests to screen for the disease. But now, a major new study finds there is really no point in screening women who don't have a history of the disease or symptoms of it.

Dr. Saundra Buys is the medical director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. "Screening for ovarian cancer does not detect ovarian cancer at a stage where it's more likely to be cured," she noted.

Dr. Buys and other researchers conducted a study involving 78,000 women between the ages of 55 and 74. They randomly assigned the participants to receive either annual screening or usual care. None of the women had a family history or symptoms of ovarian cancer, although some women in each group developed it during the course of the study.

“The women who had cancer turned out to have the same stage of cancer and were no more likely to be cured of cancer than women who weren't screened," she said.

Dr. Buys says the screening did more harm than good.  She says 10 percent of the women who were screened had false positive results which, in some cases, led to unnecessary surgery and complications.  The symptoms for ovarian cancer are like those for digestive or bladder problems. They can include lower back or pelvic pain.

The researchers are urging women to report any change to their doctors so that if they do have ovarian cancer, it might be caught early.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid