FDA issues warning against widely used ovarian cancer screening test

Posted at 5:59 PM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 17:59:07-04

The FDA has issued a new warning about widely used ovarian cancer screening tests, now revealing they may be unreliable and could lead to false diagnoses.

The FDA doesn’t want women and their doctors to be misled by companies marketing tests that claim to screen and detect ovarian cancer. They want women to know that no screening method for this disease has been proven accurate.

The most widely-used test is the CA-125 test. There’s also the new ROCA test. These type of tests are not sensitive enough to reliably screen for ovarian cancer.  So there’s a high number of inaccurate results and women get told they have ovarian cancer when they don’t. They undergo additional medical tests and may have unnecessary surgery. But what’s worse, is the test may not show ovarian cancer when in fact the woman does have it.

It’s unfortunate but more than 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year.  It’s the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. To help you know the signs and symptoms, here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX:

1. Be Aware of any Pain in the Pelvic or Abdominal Area
Specifically the area below your stomach and between your hip bones

2. Watch for Feeling Bloated
This is when your stomach swells or feels full

3. Watch for Urinary Changes
Like having to pass urine really badly or having to go often

4. Watch for Back Pain or Feeling Full Quickly After Eating
You need to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you. These symptoms can be caused by other issues but if you’re concerned, see your doctor.

Women who’ve reached menopause, have a family history of ovarian cancer or carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation gene have the highest risk of developing it.  Women who’ve used oral contraceptives, had a baby, have a history of breastfeeding or take aspirin daily have lower risks.  But please know there is no sure way to prevent ovarian cancer.