Task Force Recommendations on Ovarian Cancer Highlight Need for Research and a Detection Test, Say Advocates

Posted:09/11/12

Washington, DC—On September 10, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) updated its recommendations on ovarian cancer screening. Based on current medical evidence, a committee of experts advised that women at average risk of developing ovarian cancer should not be screened for the disease. The recommendation does not apply to women who are experiencing symptoms, or those who are at high risk of developing ovarian cancer due to family history or a genetic mutation.

“The task force’s recommendation underscores how badly we need an effective screening test for ovarian cancer,” said Cara Tenenbaum, Vice President for Policy and External Affairs at the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. “Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer because it often isn’t detected until the disease is in an advanced state.”

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance urges women and health professionals to learn about the symptom and risk factors associated with the disease. “It’s important for women to note that these recommendations do not apply if they are experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer, or if they have a strong family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancers. We urge women to talk with their doctors so they can better understand their individual risk of ovarian cancer,” said Ms. Tenenbaum.

The Alliance submitted comments to the USPSTF regarding ovarian cancer screening, and will continue to work with the task force and appropriate government agencies to ensure that women at high risk of developing the disease have access to genetic counseling and testing as appropriate.

The Alliance offers a free Ovarian Cancer Symptom Diary App that women can use to track symptoms and record risk factors associated with the disease. Click here to learn more about the symptoms and diagnostic tests for ovarian cancer.

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is the foremost advocate for women with ovarian cancer in the United States. To advance the interests of women with ovarian cancer, the organization advocates at a national level for increases in research funding for the development of an early detection test, improved health care practices, and life-saving treatment protocols. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance educates health care professionals and raises public awareness of the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is a 501 (c) (3) organization established in 1997.

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For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Amanda Davis at adavis@ovariancancer.org or (202)331-1332.