Ovarian Cancer Test 'Premature,' Critics Worry

Early screening's false positives may cause unneeded surgeries
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Aug 26, 2008 10:32 AM CDT
The FDA is concerned that OvaSure, an early detection test for ovarian cancer, has not been properly tested.   (KRT Photos)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Though a new ovarian cancer test gives hope that the 21,000 new cancer cases expected this year may be detected at a treatable stage, the FDA is worried OvaSure may do more harm than good, the New York Times reports. If the unregulated test detects cancer where there isn't any—as expected in 0.6% of cases—some women may have unnecessary surgeries.

"You've got industry trying to capitalize on fear," one doc says of the $220 test. But others counter that ovaries are already being removed unnecessarily in women who are at high risk for cancer, and that OvaSure could lessen such instances. The cancer claims 15,000 lives a year and has symptoms that can be mistaken for several other conditions.