A symptom survey may provide clinicians with a rapid, cost-effective screening tool to detect early stages of ovarian cancer, according to a new study.
Published in the January issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study reveals that early ovarian cancer may be distinguished from other causes by a specific set of symptoms and their frequency and duration.
Physicians generally consider ovarian cancer to be a ?silent killer.? That is, it develops asymptomatically or with symptoms easily attributable to benign causes until diagnosed late in the course of disease and well after a cure is likely. There is no effective screening test to detect early stage disease in the general population or even high-risk groups. Consequently, no professional gynecology association or public health agency recommends routine screening. Also, the lack of recognized, early clinical signs and symptoms delays diagnosis until advanced disease. These factors combine to make ovarian cancer one of the deadliest malignancies in the world.