The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has announced it recommends against screening for ovarian cancer in women who show no signs or symptoms of the disease and who do not have known genetic mutations that put them at increased risk.
“There is no existing method of screening for ovarian cancer that is effective in reducing deaths,” Task Force chairwoman Virginia Moyer, MD, MPH, said in a news release. “In fact, a high percentage of women who undergo screening experience false-positive test results and consequently may be subjected to unnecessary harms, such as major surgery.”
Screening guidelines by other medical and public health organizations are in line with the Task Forces recommendation. For example, screening asymptomatic, average-risk women for ovarian cancer is not currently recommended by the American Cancer Society or the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Currently, routine screening for ovarian cancer has no proven benefit and may actually lead to important harms,” Moyer said. “In light of this, there is a critical need to develop better screening tests for ovarian cancer.”
To read details of the recommendation against ovarian cancer screening: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/ovarian/ovarcancerrs.htm.