Women with ovarian cancer can FINALLY be diagnosed with a si
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A simple, widely available blood test given by GPs can accurately tell women they are at risk of ovarian cancer – as well as flagging up other 'hidden' tumours in the pancreas, bowel, and lungs. The test measures levels in the blood of a protein called cancer antigen 125, or CA125, found on the surface of some cancers. Exactly what a raised level means hasn't been clear – until now.

CA125 tests have been routinely given for 15 years to women with symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating, changes in appetite and toilet frequency. However, a raised CA125 reading alone hasn't been felt reliable enough to provide a clear indicator of ovarian cancer as it can also be a result of conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids and even pregnancy.

Investigations to rule out other causes of symptoms can take months and if ovarian cancer is eventually found to be present, vital treatment may have been delayed. Now a landmark analysis has shown the test alone can be used to accurately stratify ovarian cancer risk, should a woman see her GP complaining of abdominal symptoms.

Those with levels above a certain threshold will now be fast-tracked for urgent investigations, including an ultrasound scan, for a definitive diagnosis. 'This test is already available and widely used by GPs,' said Professor James Brenton, who researches the disease at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. 'But until now, perhaps a raised level meant cancer, perhaps not. The new study gives a more precise framework, so a specific level means a specific percentage risk of ovarian cancer, as well as other cancers. This will help doctors realise when women need a more rapid referral.'

Ovarian cancer strikes 7,400 women each year and is the cause of more than 4,000 deaths a year. Swift diagnosis is key to successfully treating it – nine in ten women with early-stage disease survive it. If picked up at a late stage, just one in ten live more than five years.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8924193/Women-ovarian-cancer-FINALLY-diagnosed-simple-blood-test-given-GPs.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490
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