Call for new ovarian cancer screening tests

June 6, 2011 3:14:00 PM PDT
Ovarian cancer kills some 22,000 women a year because it's usually found when it is in an advanced stage. A study has unfortunately shown that two previously known tests for ovarian cancer do not save lives.

The first is a procedure is called transvaginal ultrasound. It is one of the methods doctors use to look inside a woman's pelvis, abnormal growths can often be spotted. It is one of the tests doctors hoped could be a screening test for early ovarian cancer.

The other is a blood test called CA 125. Its spots a protein sometimes elevated in women with the disease. But studies show that CA 125 has not worked as a screening test.

"CA 125 is not very sensitive for ovarian cancer which means that some women can have ovarian cancer but still have a normal CA 125," said Dr. Saundra S. Buys, of the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Now, there have been calls for a screening strategy to try to locate early cancers and save women's lives.