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Ovarian cancer screening pilot begins

Thursday August 23rd, 2018

A new ovarian cancer early detection service for women who have the faulty BRCA gene is to be trialled in London, it was announced today.

The service is being overseen by the UCLH Cancer Collaborative in North and East London, UK. It is specifically aimed at women who have chosen not to have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.

About 2,000 women aged 36 or older will be recruited across England into the ALDO project (Avoiding Late Diagnosis in Ovarian Cancer), and tested every four months.

The test uses assesses changes in the level of the blood chemical CA125, which typically rises in ovarian cancer.

The experts say this is the first time that this technology has been piloted as an NHS service and "heralds a significant step towards meeting recommendations in the National Cancer Strategy to improve early diagnosis".

If found feasible and cost-effective, the surveillance could become standard practice across the NHS.

Dr Adam Rosenthal of University College London Hospitals, UK, who is working on the project, said: "It is clear that for women with a faulty BRCA gene, having surgery to remove their ovaries and fallopian tubes is the most effective way of preventing ovarian cancer.

"However, thousands of women choose to delay surgery for a variety of reasons including completing their family or avoiding early menopause. There is currently no national ovarian cancer surveillance for these women.

"This pilot project will be the first time that an ovarian cancer surveillance service is piloted in the NHS, and the hope is that this will become standard practice for women with a faulty BRCA gene in the not too distant future."

Tags: Cancer | Genetics | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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