USPSTF Advises Against Routine Ovarian Cancer Screening

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US Preventive Services Task Force states that screening tests for ovarian cancer are often inaccurate.

Women who have no signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer should not receive a screening, according to a draft recommendation statement from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

While ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death among American women, a review of evidence shows that screening tests for ovarian cancer are often inaccurate.

These incorrect diagnoses can lead to unnecessary surgeries to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes, according to the statement. There are no American medical organizations that recommend ovarian cancer screenings for all women.

“The current screening tests do not do a good job identifying whether a woman does or does not have ovarian cancer. The Task Force hopes that in the future, better screening tests for ovarian cancer will be developed,” Task Force chair David Grossman, MD, MPH noted in the USPSTF Bulletin about the statement.

The recommendation is only for asymptomatic women who are not at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to the statement, and would not apply to women at higher risk, such as those who have certain mutations, like BRCA.

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