Yearly Blood Tests May Catch Ovarian Cancer Early04:05
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Gynecologic oncologists administer specialized chemotherapy to an ovarian cancer patient. (UC Irvine)
Gynecologic oncologists administer specialized chemotherapy to an ovarian cancer patient. (UC Irvine)

A new paper in the journal Cancer says a way of screening for ovarian cancer appears to catch tumors early.

The University of Texas researchers found that annual blood tests recording levels of a protein created by most ovarian tumors, called CA-125, can alert doctors early.

Each year, about 20,000 women in the United States get ovarian cancer, and about 14,000 die from it annually.

Dr. Karen Lu, professor and chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is co-author of the study.

She says that even thought the findings are promising, it's necessary to know if it actually reduces deaths from ovarian cancer, before turning it into a routine screening for women.

A large study in the United Kingdom is looking into that question, and Lu says we should know the results by 2015.

Guest

  • Dr. Karen Lu, professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of Texas.

This segment aired on August 27, 2013.

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