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Symptom Screening Plus a Simple Blood Test Equals a 20 Percent Jump in Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer
Date:6/23/2008

dex may already be done by some doctors based on a consensus statement issued last year by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers hope their symptom index will help doctors know which among their patients who complain of symptoms such as abdominal swelling and pelvic pain might have cancer.

The symptom-screening index, developed in 2006 by paper co-author Barbara A. Goff, M.D., professor and director of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, is not used proactively in clinical general practice, but Andersen and colleagues are conducting a pilot study to assess the value of using it as a screening tool among normal-risk women as part of their routine medical-history assessment.

For the just-published study, the researchers administered the symptom questionnaire to 75 women about to undergo surgery for pelvic masses who were later diagnosed with ovarian cancer (the case group), and 254 healthy women at high risk for ovarian cancer due to a family history of the disease (the control, or comparison, group). The cases were recruited through Pacific Gynecology Specialists at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, and the controls were recruited through the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Study, a joint project of the Hutchinson Center and the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research.

The National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research and the Canary Foundation supported this research.

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit fhcrc.org.

THE OVARIAN-CANCER SYMPTOM-SCREENING INDEX

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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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