Choosing Wisely:

Don’t perform pelvic ultrasound in average risk women to screen for ovarian cancer.

Rationale and Comments: Although the mortality rate associated with ovarian cancer is high, the disease occurs infrequently in the general U.S. population, with an age-adjusted incidence of 13 cases per 100,000 women. As a result, the positive predictive value of screening for ovarian cancer is low, and most women with a positive screening test result will have a false-positive result. Annual screening with transvaginal ultrasonography in women does not reduce the number of ovarian cancer deaths.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Sources:
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
  • Disciplines:
  • Oncologic
  • Gynecologic
  • Preventive Medicine
  • References: • Moyer VA. Screening for ovarian cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med 2012;157:900–4.
    • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Gynecologic Practice. Committee Opinion No. 477: the role of the obstetrician-gynecologist in the early detection of epithelial ovarian cancer. Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Mar;117(3):742-6.
    • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ovarian cancer: screening. Rockville (MD): USPSTF; 2012. Available at: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/ovarian-cancer-screening. Retrieved December 9, 2015.

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