Early Detection Testing Required for Ovarian Cancer Patients

Essay by winstmaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2007

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In the United States, ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death among women. The silent killer as the disease is often referred to kills more women than all the Gynecologic Oncology combined (What Every Woman Should Know, n.d.). Silent because of the frequency in which early symptoms are disregarded by patients and are not brought to the attention of physicians until the disease's late stages when prognosis is poor. In the early stages of the disease symptoms presented are few, if any. They often vague and confused with other abdominal abnormalities (O'Rourke, 2003, p. 1) Currently reliable testing is not available with absolute validity to screen for early detection of this type of cancer. The CA-125 serum tumor marker is a blood test used most often but the test is not proven to be a reliable indicator of the disease.

Early Detection Testing Required for Ovarian Cancer Patients


A diagnosis of ovarian cancer is a crisis for any woman.

Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of the cancers attacking the female reproductive organs. "The high mortality associated with this disease is due in part to problems associated with early diagnosis" (Mannis, 1999, p. 47). The lack of distinctive symptoms that women experience in addition to the lack of effective mass screening procedures, make early detection often difficult (Mannis, 1999, p. 47).

Some women jump to conclusions with the statistical reports trying to figure out their chances of getting ovarian cancer or of surviving ovarian cancer. It is important to remember that statistics show what happens with large numbers and should not be applied to one individual. For example, the sample group in this study is all women in that all there is a chance however remote that all women will be diagnosed with ovarian...