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blood test for Ovarian Cancer

Why Screening Tests for Ovarian Cancer Are Not Reliable

medicOvarian cancer commonly begins as a cyst made up of cancerous cells. As cancer progresses, the dangerous effects spread to other parts of the body with the cancerous cells. Medical professionals have many detection techniques in place to determine if a female has ovarian cancer, but many of these methods are unreliable. Doctors warn that “there are currently no screening tests for it that are sensitive enough to reliably screen it without a high number of inaccurate results” [1]

A commonly used test is known as the CA-125 test, an advanced blood test that measures the levels of the CA-125 protein. This test is not a reliable screening test because CA-125 can be elevated from other common conditions; however, it is a helpful “diagnostic tool in postmenopausal women” [2]. In numerous cases, even though ovarian cancer was present, it was seen that the CA-125 blood test was not elevated enough. This is why the FDA recently issued a warning that stated that “women should not rely on these screening [tests] to make health or treatment decisions” [1].

Related Post –  Preidt, Robert. FDA Warns Ovarian Cancer Tests Not Reliable. WebMD. 

Related Post – Detection. Ovarian Cancer Canada. 

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Former VP, CIPA Medical Affairs and Director, IPABC

Dr. Paul Zickler graduated from the faculty of medicine at the University of Western Ontario in 1972 and became an Emergency Physician. He practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years after which he co-owned and operated several ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years and discovered his interest in prescription medicines. Dr. Zickler was a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and was CIPA’s Vice-president for Medical Affairs. He has also served as an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, the Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy) and was the principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines.

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