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Screening Doesn't Reduce Ovarian Cancer Deaths

In fact, it can actually have negative impact
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2011 6:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bad news from a new cancer study: Not only does ovarian cancer screening not reduce the number of deaths from the disease—it also leads to unnecessary treatment for false positives. The 16-year study of 78,000 women found that doctors "were unable to detect ovarian cancers any earlier" in women who received annual screenings than in those who did not, says the study author.

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Meanwhile, 3,285 women experienced false positives, LiveScience reports. That led to 1,080 undergoing surgery, 15% of whom experienced at least one complication. Other studies have shown similar results for breast and prostate cancer screenings, but since ovarian cancer is so fast-growing, experts are not sure how the screening recommendations will be affected by this study. (Read more ovarian cancer stories.)

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