Screening cuts ovarian cancer deaths

London, Dec 18 (ANI): Screenings can cut the numbers of deaths from ovarian cancer by about a fifth after follow up of up to 14 years, according to a new study.

The study concluded that longer follow-up is needed to determine the ultimate mortality reduction and if screening the general population is cost effective.

Professor Ian Jacobs said that these results from United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) provide estimates of the mortality reduction attributable to ovarian cancer screening which range from 15 percent to 28 percent. Further follow up in UKCTOCS will provide greater confidence about the precise reduction in mortality which is achievable. It is possible that the mortality reduction after follow up for an additional 2-3 years will be greater or less than these initial estimates.

The authors say that the evidence from UKCTOCS suggests that carefully conducted screening using a multimodal strategy detects ovarian cancer sufficiently early to alter the natural history of the disease and reduce mortality. This opens up a new era in ovarian cancer research and care.

Whether or not population screening is justified will depend upon a range of factors including further follow-up to determine the full extent of the mortality reduction and health economic analyses. Meanwhile efforts can be made to refine ovarian cancer screening, develop tests with greater sensitivity and more lead time and improve ways to risk stratify the population.

The study appears in The Lancet. (ANI)

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