The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is recommending that women avoid ovarian cancer screening if they do not show any outward symptoms and are not known to be at high risk. “High risk” are those who have certain hereditary cancer syndromes that increase the risk for ovarian cancer.
The results of the review indicated that screening for ovarian cancer can sometimes do more harm than good. Screening can produce many false-positive results, which can lead to unnecessary surgical procedures in women who do not have cancer.
The extent of harm ranges from moderate to substantial, depending on the type of screening test used. Aside from the identified drawbacks, there was insufficient evidence on the psychological harms of screening for ovarian cancer. This recent recommendation is an update from 2012.
Alanna McCatty is founder and CEO of McCatty Scholars, an organization that devises and implements financial literacy programs for students to combat the nationwide issue of the loss of educational opportunity due to the ramifications of burdensome student debt. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs. She is a graduate of Pace University.