DNA Screening May Help Beat Ovarian Cancer

55% of women carry variant placing them at a higher risk
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2009 6:20 AM CDT
A serous carcinoma within a woman's ovary. Genetic screening may be able to detect ovarian cancer earlier.   (©euthman)
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(Newser) – An international coalition of geneticists has discovered a DNA variant in women with ovarian cancer that could lead to earlier detection and lower mortality rates, reports the Guardian. More than half of women exhibit the genetic trait, which increases the likelihood of ovarian cancer by up to 40%. The researchers hope that a genetic screening program could be set up within 10 years.

"There has been little change in the prognosis for women with ovarian cancer over the last 40 years because the diagnosis is very, very late," said a lead author of the study. "If we could combine a genetic screening program and a program to spot early signs of the disease we could save many lives in the future."