Although ovarian cancer is the major killer among the gynecological malignancies and nearly 14,000 women died from it last year in the US, screening tests are still ineffective and do nothing to reduce mortality levels.
A study into screening programmes, carried out by the US NIH Consensus Development Panel on Ovarian Cancer, concurs with earlier evidence showing that none of the three tests currently in use is sensitive enough to detect the cancer in its earliest stages.
Despite this, up to 10 per cent of all women in the US will undergo surgery for a suspected ovarian growth, and a malignancy will be found in between only 13 per cent and 21per cent of these.
"Routine screening has resulted in unnecessary surgery with its attendant potential risks," the report concludes.
!AJAMA, February 8, 1995.