What do we really know about ovarian cancer risk and the ‘gene mutations’ considered largely responsible for increasing it? The answer is quite surprising and opens up the possibility for a radical change in how we diagnosis and treat the most lethal gynecological cancer in existence.
Ovarian cancer strikes fear into the hearts of women, their families, and their doctors, alike. Risks of false positive diagnosis leading to a treatment that has been demonstrated to result in the worst outcomes of any gynecologic cancer have led the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to recommend against routine screening.
The real tragedy – largely still unacknowledged – is that ovarian cancer statistics are not transparent to the fact that five times more women without ovarian cancer end up having surgery than those with ovarian cancer, according to a 2011 JAMA retrospective study of ovarian cancer screening.