Screening for ovarian cancer

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2002 Aug;16(4):469-82. doi: 10.1053/beog.2002.0297.


There has been considerable interest in the prospect of early detection of ovarian cancer through screening asymptomatic women, in both the general and 'high-risk' populations. Over the last decade screening strategies using the serum marker CA126 and transvaginal ultrasound have been refined and encouraging data have emerged on the impact of screening on ovarian cancer survival rates. Two randomized controlled trials are now underway in the general population to establish the impact of screening on ovarian cancer mortality while comprehensively tackling the issues of compliance, health economics and physical and psychological morbidity. In addition, trials in the high-risk population aimed at optimizing the current strategy have commenced in both the USA and the UK.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • CA-125 Antigen / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CA-125 Antigen