Can It Be Detected Early?
Help With Early Detection
Until recently doctors thought that early-stage ovarian cancer rarely produced any symptoms, and there was no way to detect it early.
New evidence has shown many women do have symptoms before the disease has spread. There is also a blood test (see below) that indicates the possibility of ovarian cancer, and recent studies have shown how it can be used more effectively.
Being aware of these indicators may lead to earlier detection of ovarian cancer (and in some cases other gynecological disease like uterine cancer), before they become life-altering.
Advances In Healthcare Screenings
If you’re at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, your doctor may recommend regular screenings with pelvic imaging and a specific blood test that measures your level of a protein called CA125.
This test isn’t currently in widespread use because of a high percentage of false positives, but a new study that followed women for 14 years found more effective ways to analyze the results, an approach that may lead to earlier diagnoses.
The new approach looks at how levels of the CA125 protein change over time and uses a formula to interpret these changing levels by also taking into account the woman’s age and the overall rate of ovarian cancer at that age, as well as profiles of other women, some of whom ended up getting ovarian cancer. With this approach, a woman’s risk level can be better identified and, working with her doctor, can decide whether more tests and/or treatment are needed.