According to Reuters, a new study may provide an updated method of screening women for ovarian cancer using an existing test.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center demonstrated that developing a test that both measures a specific protein level associated with increased ovarian cancer cells and determines disease risk may aid in the detection of ovarian cancer in its early stages. Researchers looked at a group of women over the age of 50 and classified them into three risk groups. They were able to detect early-stage cancer in 3,238 of the participants using the new test, increasing their chances of curing them.
“If detected early, ovarian cancer can be cured, but more than 70 percent of women have advanced disease by the time they are diagnosed,” researcher Karen Lu tells Reuters.
Ovarian cancer, which often goes undetected until it is advanced, is extremely lethal in women. The American Cancer Society reports that 21,550 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009, with 14,600 deaths. Millions of Americans are killed by invasive cancers each year, highlighting the importance of having health and life insurance to protect oneself and one’s loved ones.