JAAPA: When the Patient Asks – Can I be Screened for Ovarian Cancer

The JAAPA published a When the Patient Asks column on screening for ovarian cancer.


High-risk women with a genetic mutation or strong family history should be screened. Routine transvaginal and pelvic ultrasonography with a CA-125 test may help detect disease early. Exercising, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking lower the risk of disease. Oral contraceptives and prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy may be offered if the benefits outweigh the risks.

The American College of Obstetri­cians and Gynecologists, the Society for Gynecologic Oncologists, the National Institutes of Health, and the United States Preventive Services Task Force have all recommended against screening the general population. Until more adequate screening tools are identified, health care providers should talk with their patients about any possible symptoms, especially those that are out of the ordinary. Family history should also be discussed. Patients with a family history significant for ovarian cancer should be referred to a genetic counselor and be tested for genetic mutations.

The full column can be found here