Ovarian Cancer Screening Not Effective, Panel Says

Ovarian Cancer Screening: More Harm Than Good?

In the ongoing phase of the trial, 9 percent of women have required repeat testing for abnormal results. As in the pilot phase, fewer than 1 percent of women had surgery to investigate abnormal results. Nonetheless, false-positive results were the trigger for surgery in 47 of 97 (48 percent) cases, leading to major complications in 4 percent of cases.

"The USPSTF concludes that there is adequate evidence that there is no mortality benefit to routine screening for ovarian cancer with transvaginal ultrasonography or single-threshold serum CA-125 testing, and that the harms of such screening are at least moderate," the panel wrote.

"Final results from [the British study] should provide more information about the relative benefits and harms of an algorithm-based approach to screening for ovarian cancer."

The panel noted that the recommendation is consistent with those of other major medical organizations -- including the American Cancer Society and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists -- which have recommended against routine screening for ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women.

The complete statement is available online.

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