News | July 13, 2009

Ultrasound Detects Ovarian Cancer Better than Symptom Analysis

July 13, 2009 - Ultrasound outperforms symptom analysis in identifying overian cancer, reports a study in the article "The search for meaning-symptoms and TVS screening for ovarian cancer - Silent no more," published today in the online version of Cancer.

Doctors at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center-Markey Cancer Center compared symptom analysis to ultrasound in predicting ovarian cancer. They selected 272 women participating in annual trans-vaginal screening (TVS) from 31,748 women enrolled in a free screening project at the university, comparing symptom results to ultrasound and surgical pathology findings.

The study showed that TVS performed better than symptoms analysis for detecting malignancies with 73.3 percent versus 20 percent sensitivity. While symptoms analysis performed better for distinguishing benign tumors with 91.3 percent versus 74.4 percent specificity, adding symptom analysis to TVS actually resulted in reduced sensitivity, at 16.7 percent, for identification of malignancy, despite improving specificity to 97.9 percent when distinguishing benign tumors.

The authors concluded that while symptoms do identify ovarian malignancies, they are not as accurate as TVS.

Source: "The Search for Meaning - Symptoms & TVS Screening."
Edward J. Pavlik, Brook A. Saunders, Stacey Doran, Katherine W. McHugh, Frederick R. Ueland, Christopher P. DeSimone, Paul D. DePriest, Rachel A. Ware, Richard J. Kryscio, and John R. van Nagell, Jr.

For more information: www.cancer.org

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