Allison Perry

Screening is Key to Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Published: Sep 11, 2012


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2012) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-leader on Sunday, Sept. 9.


By Dr. John van Nagell


The United States is expected to see nearly 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer this year, and more than 15,000 women will die of the disease. In Kentucky specifically, this year we expect an estimated 350 new cases of ovarian cancer and 220 deaths from the disease.


The exact causes of ovarian cancer are unknown. We do know that the risk for developing it is linked to several factors. Age is a major one; women 50 and older are at higher risk. Women who have a documented family history of ovarian or breast cancers are more likely to develop the disease. <?xml:namespace prefix = owc />


And if a woman has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation (which can be determined through genetic testing), she has a higher chance of developing both ovarian and breast cancers.


Other factors linked to the disease include an early age of beginning menstruation, late age at natural menopause, endometriosis, infertility or not bearing children, obesity, and hormone replacement therapy.


How can I reduce my risk of developing ovarian cancer? Using oral contraceptives for five or more years, particularly from ages 20 to 30, can reduce ovarian cancer risk by half. Higher-risk women who have already completed childbearing can undergo prophylactic surgical removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes, thereby eliminating their risk for this type of cancer. A lowered risk of ovarian cancer also appears to be a benefit of both bearing children and breast-feeding.


How is ovarian cancer treated? Initial treatment is surgery to remove one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes; depending on the stage of the disease, some patients may require a hysterectomy as well. After surgery, some patients may need chemotherapy.


What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer? Unfortunately, there are few specific symptoms of early ovarian cancer, and most women have advanced disease by the time they consult a physician. The cure rate for advanced ovarian cancer is low: about 10 percent.


However, the disease is highly curable if detected early; the five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer that has not metastasized is 95 percent. Therefore, screening at-risk women before symptoms occur has been initiated to detect ovarian cancer at an earlier and more curable stage.


Are there screening guidelines for ovarian cancer? Not at this time. The University of Kentucky Ovarian Cancer Screening Program offers free screenings via transvaginal ultrasound to all Kentucky women over age 50 and women over 25 with a documented history of ovarian cancer. We hope that the results from the UK trial will help provide guidelines for future national screening trials.


For information on the UK Ovarian Cancer Screening Program, call 1-800-766-8279.


Dr. John van Nagell is a gynecologic oncologist and director of the UK Ovarian Cancer Screening Program.

Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Reset Page