Ovarian cancer Screening

About 20 percent of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage. When ovarian cancer is detected early at a localized stage, about 94 percent of patients live longer than five years after diagnosis. According to the American Cancer Society, several large studies are in progress to learn the best ways to find ovarian cancer in its earliest stage.

Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

While the exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown, researchers have linked it to several risk factors. You may be at risk if the following conditions apply:


  • Age 55 or older
  • Personal or family history of cancer — some individuals have hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, which involves mutation in the BRCA1 (breast cancer type 1 susceptibility hormone) or BRCA2 (breast cancer type 2 susceptibility hormone) gene
  • Overweight
  • Never been pregnant
  • Have taken estrogen without progesterone for 10 or more years for menopausal hormone therapy

Keep in mind that having one or more risk factors does not mean you will definitely get the disease, and having no risk factors does not mean you cannot get it.

Screening Tests for Ovarian Cancer

Although a great deal of research has been conducted to develop a screening test for ovarian cancer, there has been limited success. Annual well-woman examinations  are one of the best methods available — not only to identify ovarian cancer early but also to identify other gynecological conditions, as well.