Detecting early signs of ovarian cancer by blood test

Detecting early signs of ovarian cancer by blood test

POSTED: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 9:15pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 9:29pm

More than 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the U.S.

There's something women may want to consider for their yearly exam.

Doctors are encouraging women to take blood tests for ovarian cancer screening because early signs may be difficult to detect, but it's not for all women.

If ovarian is caught early it's curable, but early detection is difficult.

KETK discussed this study with Oncologist, Dr. Gary Gross of the Blood and Cancer Center of East Texas.

"Cancer in the ovary is a disease that tends to get more and more common like most cancers when we get older," says Dr. Gary Gross, Oncologist.

Researchers screened more than 4,000 women over an 11 year period using a yearly blood test, the test measured levels of CA-125, a protein that shows the presence of ovarian cancer.

"I've worked with women over the last 32 years in OBGYN we did that particular type of testing for breast and ovarian," says Anita Gatlin, retired nurse

One young East Texas woman tells KETK she never thought about getting a blood rest when she goes for her annual exam.

"The only woman that needs this ca-125 blood test is going to help are women that have been through the change of life, younger women should not be going to the doctor asking for this test, it will not help them," says Dr. Gross.

Dr. gross says, this test picks up cancer of the ovaries and even other conditions that are not cancerous.

"Every sign and symptom of ovarian cancer is also a sign and symptom that normal women get, a little bloating of your abdomen... a little gassy," says Dr. Gross.

By using the blood test, 10 women in the study were able to detect early signs of ovarian cancer.

"The number one risk of ovarian cancer is their family history now we have been able to identify certain genes and if a woman has that gene and it's passed on then she'll have a much higher risk," says Dr. Gross.

Dr. Gross says, women should get their yearly pap-smear no matter their risk or age, so when you make you next appointment think about early detection.

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