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Wednesday 19th June 2019

More blood tests for ovarian cancer needed

27th April 2011

New guidelines released by the health service have said doctors should provide more blood tests to patients in order to identify ovarian cancer more quickly.


Nearly 7,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with the disease every year, but only around a third survive beyond five years.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has drawn up the guidelines for England and Wales, which have been met with approval by cancer charities.

NICE are keen to see more use of a certain type of blood test, which looks for a protein called CA125 as an indicator of the cancer.

The test costs £20 and only finds cancer in around 50% of cases, but doctors believe using it more often could increase the UK's poor survival rate for the disease.

The symptoms of the disease are abdominal pain, bloating, increased urination and a feeling of fullness.

A member of the guideline group, Sean Duffy, from the Yorkshire Cancer Network, said: "The symptoms can be vague, but shouldn't be ignored if they are persistent.The vast majority of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage, so we hope to see improvements in survival as a result of these guidelines."

"Sometimes doctors tell women they have Irritable Bowel Syndrome - but NICE has already produced guidelines to say this is unusual as a new diagnosis in women over 50."


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