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Questions About a New Ovarian Cancer Test for Women

Posted Sep 13 2008 4:41am

Ovarian cancer is a frightening diagnosis with death usually occurring in a few years after the diagnosis is made, even if the cancer is detected in the early stages. A new test for ovarian cancer called OvaSure has been developed by researchers at Yale and is now available. However, serious doubts have been raised about the test. To quote Andrew Pollock, the author of an article in the 8/26/08 New York Times, "many experts are saying it might do more harm than good, leading women to unnecessary surgeries." The test has not been reviewed or approved by the FDA, which is worrisome.

For now I think any woman who is worried about ovarian cancer should talk to a gynecologist she trusts and not rush to take the test. If necessary, I would talk to more than one and probably talk with an oncologist who specializes in ovarian cancer. You can never ask too many questions or be too careful with your life. it is worrisome that labs will advertise and perform tests without the certainty that the results will be helpful. Of course, they are in the business of making lots of money.

If a woman has undiagnosed abdominal pain or bloating, a gastroenterologist and a GYN doctor would be the places to start before the lab test is done. There are many reasons for abdominal pain: stress, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, an ulcer, and even constipation.

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