A Good Tool for Monitoring Treatment—Not Screening—of Ovarian Cancer

Deputy Director, Executive Director, Center for Immunotherapy
Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 2:49pm
Ovarian Cancer Screening: What You Need to Know Following the FDA's Alert
Thursday, September 15, 2016

An ovarian cancer test, CA-125 is a reliable tool when used correctly. That is the message from Roswell Park following an FDA alert regarding the use of this common blood test. CA-125 is a protein found in the blood that can help monitor ovarian cancer patients during and after treatment. However, it is not a good tool for finding the disease early. While mammograms can help find early breast cancer and colonoscopies can help prevent colon cancer, there is currently no reliable way to detect ovarian cancer.

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Deputy Director, Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Executive Director, Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, says the FDA alert should encourage the scientific community to redouble its efforts to identify an effective way for early detection of ovarian cancer. Often called the silent killer, ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly cancers diagnosed in women.

Dr. Odunsi recommends that women who have questions or are at increased risk for the disease should seek out cancer genetic counseling and their oncologist to discuss ways to reduce their chances for developing the disease.