A Comprehensive Look at the Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Jennifer O'Rourke

Suzanne M. Mahon
ovarian neoplasms, CA-125 antigen, ultrasonography
CJON 2003, 7(1), 41-47. DOI: 10.1188/03.CJON.41-47

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer deaths and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among American women. Advances in surgery and treatment modalities have slightly improved five-year survival rates, but the prognosis for most women continues to be poor. Rectovaginal examination, ultrasound, and the CA-125 blood test are three modalities currently used to screen for ovarian cancer, although no universal ovarian cancer screening guidelines are recommended for the general population. Developments in the early detection of ovarian cancer are emerging and include blood tests that could lead to identifying asymptomatic, early-stage ovarian cancer. Nurses should be knowledgeable about these developments in ovarian cancer as they educate women about ovarian cancer risk, prevention, and early detection.

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