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U.S. Panel Rejects Ovarian Cancer Screening
Date:4/10/2012

trasound 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."

Yet, many doctors still perform the tests because women demand it, Brooks noted.

With no new data affirming the benefit of CA-125 screening plus ultrasound, the new draft recommendations essentially reaffirm 2004 recommendations.

They 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.

"At the present, we do not have a good screening test for ovarian cancer," Brooks said.

And there are no other techniques on the horizon, Grossman added.

The draft recommendations will be posted on the task force website, and physicians and members of the public and of professional societies are invited to comment.

Final recommendations may be out in as soon as two months, Grossman said.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on ovarian cancer.

SOURCES: Jay Brooks, chairman, hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; David Grossman, M.D., senior investigator, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, and member, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force; April, 10, 2012, Screening for Ovarian Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement


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