Connect With Others Touched By Cancer
Get to know Jaime, Liz and Sheryl as they blog about their personal experiences with cancer -- as patients, survivors, caregivers and friends.
(page 5 of 65)
Hope for the future
August 6, 2010
Ovarian cancer is one of those cancers typically diagnosed in its advanced stages. According to the Mayo Clinic, in 75 percent of cases ovarian cancer is not diagnosed until it has spread into the abdomen. Symptoms can be vague and nonspecific, primary care doctors aren't necessarily looking for ovarian cancer, and it's not a gynecologic cancer that can be screened for during your annual visit. There are no screening tests for this disease, yet it is the deadliest gynecologic cancer. Many women think a CA-125 blood test, which is a tumor-marker test, is a screening tool. However, in reality, it is not very accurate. There are many reasons someone's CA-125 may be high, and the test is typically used with women who are already diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a way of monitoring their response to treatment.
But that could soon change. Maybe. MabCure, a biotechnology company, has applied for a patent for its ovarian cancer diagnostic antibodies. The company's monoclonal tumor-specific antibodies were able to identify ovarian cancer in the blood and were also able to differentiate between benign and malignant ovarian tumors. Sensitivity of the test was 94 percent and specificity was 100 percent. There were no false positives, and the antibodies found 16 out of the 17 ovarian cancers.
Is this a sure thing? No. But it is a step forward in developing screening tools for this deadly and feared cancer. Ironically, this story was buried under many other links. I can't help but think that if it were one of the more "popular" cancers, it would have been more visible. So what can we do? Tell people about this, do your own research, ask your doctor if she knows about developments in ovarian cancer. Be your own advocate. And who knows? Maybe one day, at our annual appointments, we'll have this blood test as well.
Have a thought to share with our bloggers?
Leave a comment below!
Previous entry: Exploring stories