Health Team

Test may not accurately predict ovarian cancer recurrence

Posted June 5, 2009 5:40 p.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2009 7:03 p.m. EDT

— A recent study presented at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology found the CA 125 blood test has not improved ovarian cancer survival.

“It's not a very good screening tool, because it has too many other false positives and false negatives,” Rex Oncologist Dr. Jeffrey Crane said.

It's not that the CA 125 isn't effective at predicting a recurrence of ovarian cancer. Doctors say that some cancers are sensitive to chemotherapy and some are not, so early detection really does not affect the outcome.

Crane says there is no uniform cure for ovarian cancer, but there's hope.

“We have very effective treatment and there are women who have relapsed who have possibly been cured,” Crane said.

Linda Ray, 56, is an ovarian cancer survivor. She was diagnosed two years ago and after surgery and chemotherapy helped put her in remission, Ray had a recurrence last fall.

“Ovarian cancer is chronic. It could come back at any time so you've got to learn to live in limbo,” Ray said.

Now in remission, she is hoping that one day a cure will be found.

New tests are being developed that may improve the accuracy of detecting an ovarian recurrence of cancer.