Ovarian cancer screening is ineffective and harmful

Important paper in JAMA: ovarian cancer screening using transvaginal ultrasound and serum Ca-125 testing does not reduce mortality from ovarian cancer.

Worse, there “Diagnostic evaluation following a false-positive screening test result was associated with complications”. The harms of this ineffective intervention:

Of 3285 women with false-positive results, 1080 underwent surgery (32.9% for oophorectomy) as part of the diagnostic workup. Of these 1080 women, 163 (15%) experienced a total of 222 distinct major complications, which yielded a rate of 20.6 complications per 100 surgical procedures”.

That’s a lot of operations and a relatively high risk of complications.

I wonder when we will realise that most screening is overhyped, overvalued, and not very useful.


One Response to “Ovarian cancer screening is ineffective and harmful”

  1. Dr No June 7, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    “I wonder when we will realise that most screening is overhyped, overvalued, and not very useful.” – but very profitable. And easy to sell – it’s a no brainer to most of the public – even a bright friend of Dr No – a QC nonetheless – thinks it works. Which makes overhyping it really really bad medicine.

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