Diagnosing ovarian cancer might just be a blood test away, says study

Updated on:18 February 2020, 12:20pm IST
Do you know, in India, 23,000-25,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed every year? Let’s reduce this number with the help of a blood test.
PTI
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According to a recent study, a novel blood test may aid ovarian cancer diagnosis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Regular check-ups are of great help when it comes to the early detection of many diseases. Also, it becomes way easier to treat them in their initial phase. Ovarian cancer is one such disease. 

The problem with this cancer is that it remains undetected until it spreads within the pelvis and abdomen area. 

But thanks to the team of researchers who have developed a new blood test that can measure the body’s own immune response characteristic of inflammation and some malignancies, an advance that may lead to a new diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer.

According to the researchers, including those from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, about 3,00,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed globally each year, with nearly 60% of the women dying within five years of diagnosis.

Take this and see if you can guess all the causes of cancer.

A simple blood test may detect whether the ovarian growth is cancerous or not
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that testing for a specific immune biomarker may allow clinicians to identify whether growths on the ovaries are cancerous or not, without the need for other costly, time-consuming tests.

cervical cancer prevention
Ovarian cancer has become a major cause of health concern in India. Image courtesy: Shuttertstock.

“Our new test is as accurate as the combined results of a standard blood test and ultrasound,” said study co-author Magdalena Plebanski from RMIT.

“This is especially important for women in remote or disadvantaged communities, where under-resourced hospitals may not have access to complex and expensive equipment like ultrasound machines or MRI scanners. In the study, the researchers used a marker for inflammation (IL-6) together with cancer markers to detect epithelial ovarian cancer in blood”, Plebanski added.

They validated the results across two separate human trial cohorts.

Using the new blood test, the scientists said, patients with benign cysts identified through imaging may be spared unnecessary surgeries.

Plebanski said:

This study looked at women with advanced ovarian cancer, but we hope further research could explore the potential for adding this biomarker to routine diagnostic tests at earlier stages of the disease. 

“Developing tests that are simpler and more practical may help get more women to hospital for treatment more effectively, with the hope that survival rates will improve,” he added.

So, it’s just a simple thing that you need to do ladies – please don’t ignore as it will just take a few moments from your day and will keep the scare of ovarian cancer out of the way. 

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