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ACOG joins the ‘Choosing Wisely Campaign’ with recommendations on ovarian cancer

The ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) has recently joined the “Choosing Wisely Campaign”, which was initiated by the American Board of Internal Medicine to compile lists of medically unnecessary screenings, and has recommended that screening for ovarian cancer is not necessarily effective. Number five on the list addresses ovarian cancer screening.
“5.) Don’t screen for ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women at average risk. “In population studies, there is only fair evidence that screening of asymptomatic women with serum CA-125 level and/or transvaginal ultrasound can detect ovarian cancer at an earlier stage than it can be detected in the absence of screening. Because of the low prevalence of ovarian cancer and the invasive nature of the interventions required after a positive screening test, the “…potential harms of screening outweigh the potential benefits.”

Two years after dissertation research by Christine A. Larson, Ph.D was published, and roughly eight years after that research was first initiated the ACOG has revised their screening guidelines and acknowledges: “…the potential harms of screening outweigh the benefits.”

For more information you can follow this link: http://www.choosingwisely.org/doctor-patient-lists/american-college-of-obstetricians-and-gynecologists/.

If you’d like to know more about Christine’s original dissertation research on the use of prophylactic bilateral ophorectomy at time of hysterectomy for benign conditions, you can read an article here: http://www.current-oncology.com/index.php/oncology/article/view/744/597

(published in the digital version of the international medical journal “Current Oncology,” (2011), Volume 18,#1, February issue.)

What is Prophylactic Bilateral Oophorectomy?

Prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy is the removal of both ovaries, usually done at the time a hysterectomy takes place and often recommended to ‘prevent’ other, more serious conditions developing later in life. However, whilst it may be recommended in women who have a high risk of developing ovarian cancer because of familial or medical history; women who have a low risk of developing ovarian cancer will not increase their risk by keeping their ovaries.

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