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London’s first screening programme for ovarian cancer…the most dangerous cancer for women

Posted Nov 20 2009 10:02pm

London Bridge Hospital is launching the first formal screening service for ovarian cancer, a disease that’s often discovered when it has reached an advanced stage. Ovarian cancer is less common than breast or colon cancer but is more lethal.  Of the 7,000 new cases discovered every year, six thousand patients cannot be cured.  The survival rates are worse than all other gynaecological cancers.

The disease, known as the ‘silent killer’, is difficult to spot in its early stages and frequently its symptoms in later stages are misdiagnosed. In response, one of the UK’s leading authorities on the disease, gynaecologist, Mr David Oram, has begun a cancer screening service. “We know that like many cancers we can have a successful outcome if only we can identify the disease in it early stages,” said Mr Oram.  “There are several groups of women who are most at risk; those past the point of menopause, those women with a family history of the disease, women with a past history of breast cancer and those who have had ovarian stimulation as part of IVF treatment.”

“The screening will consist of a blood test followed by pelvic ultrasound of the ovaries carried out by a specialist sonographer,” he said.  “24 hours later we’ll arrange an appointment to see me and we can talk through the results and advise the patient accordingly,” said Mr Oram.  “Ovarian cancer does not give any easily recognisable symptom in the early stages but we can identify the disease early and in most cases a cure is possible.”

Mr Oram is also taking part in a long term national trial which will examine tests on 200,000 women but the results of the trial will not be published until 2014.

Email  for further information or to contact the screening centre

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