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Conquer Cancer Health News

UK to test ovarian cancer screening program
LONDON (Reuters)

British doctors announced plans on Tuesday to conduct a 10-year trial to determine if screening for ovarian cancer can save lives.
The trial involving 200,000 women in 12 centres throughout Britain will also look into the cost of providing screening in the state-run National Health Service (NHS).
"At the end of this study we will have information about how many lives ovarian cancer screening could save, how much this will cost, how women feel about screening and the associated complications of screening," Professor Ian Jacobs said in a statement.
Jacobs, of Queen Mary and Westfield College at the University of London, will head the 22 million pound ($34.6 million) trial that is being funded by cancer charities and the Department of Health.
Women between the ages of 50 and 74 who do not have a strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer will be invited to take part in the trial.
Each participant will be given a blood test to measure a tumour marker called CA 125 which is produced by ovarian cancer cells. They will also have an ultrasound scan to measure the size of the ovaries.
"Screening makes sense for a disease such as ovarian cancer which for many women has few symptoms until it has spread and is more difficult to treat," said Professor John Smyth, a cancer expert at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
Ovarian cancer is the leading cancer killer among women. Almost 6,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. It is often called the silent killer because of the lack of early symptoms.
Although the disease usually occurs in women past the menopause, one in 10 cases are in women younger than 45.
Women who have not had children have double the risk of getting the disease. A family history of the disease, infertility treatment are also risk factors.
Pregnancy and the contraceptive pill reduce the risk.
Swelling and pain in the abdomen, weight loss, lack of appetite and indigestion can be early warning signs.

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