News: New blood test could detect first signs of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer because it’s hard to detect until it’s too late. If found early,

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Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer because it’s hard to detect until it’s too late.

If found early, however, it’s treatable.

Enter a new blood test, which could be the key to saving thousands of lives each year.

An 11-year study, published in the journal Cancer, tested a new screening strategy for ovarian cancer that focuses on changes in a specific blood protein (one that is a known tumor marker) on over 4000 post-menopausal women.

The study found that the blood test is a highly accurate way to detect ovarian cancer in its early stages.

"Our findings suggest that using a longitudinal (or change over time) screening strategy may be beneficial in post-menopausal women with an average risk of developing ovarian cancer," lead author Karen Lu, MD, said in a press release.

She is currently waiting on the results of a larger, randomized study. "If the results of this study are also positive, then this will result in a change in practice," she said.

That means this new blood test could soon be coming to your doctor’s office, too. It also means ovarian cancer will no longer be a "silent killer."

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

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