Research News

Whether screening for ovarian cancer saves lives is still unclear despite large trial

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 18 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6876
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

A trial of more than 200 000 UK women has provided no definite answer as to whether screening for ovarian cancer saves lives. Longer follow-up studies are needed to decide whether testing the general population is cost effective, the researchers said.1

Ovarian cancer continues to be diagnosed at an advanced stage, and 60% of patients die within five years of diagnosis. The United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) tested the hypothesis that screening for ovarian cancer in the general population can reduce deaths from the disease without causing significant harm.

The researchers recruited 202 638 women aged 50-74 from 2001 to 2005 through 13 trial centres in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales and randomised them to …

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