March 30, 2018 – Ovarian Cancer Screening


Anchor lead: Most women should not be screened for ovarian cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis, largely because by the time the disease is identified it is advanced, pointing to a clear need for a screening test. The US Preventive Services task force has just recommended against screening using current methods. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains why.

Nelson: What the US Preventive Services Task Force did is they formally recommend against screening asymptomatic women who have no family history of ovarian cancer. I think what this suggests is what we got ain’t that good. What we need is something better. There are some tremendous new insights into how ovarian cancers arise. They arise in the Fallopian tube. That knowledge puts into play the idea that you can detect something that might come down the Fallopian tube, through the uterus and out through the cervix you might detect in something resembling a Pap smear.  :32

Nelson predicts such a test may soon be clinically useful. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.