Choosing Wisely:

Don’t screen for ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women at average risk.

Rationale and Comments: In population studies, there is only fair evidence that screening of asymptomatic women with serum cancer antigen 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 interventions required after a positive screening test, the potential harms of screening outweigh the potential benefits.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Sources:
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
  • Disciplines:
  • Oncologic
  • Gynecologic
  • Preventive Medicine
  • References: • Screening for ovarian cancer: recommendation statement. Ann Fam Med. 2004;2:260-2.
    • Barton MB, et al. Screening for ovarian cancer: evidence update for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. AHRQ publication no. 12-05165-EF3. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; April 2012.
    • Partridge E, et al. Results from four rounds of ovarian cancer screening in a randomized trial. Obstet Gynecol 2009;113:775-82.
    • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The role of the obstetrician–gynecologist in the early detection of epithelial ovarian cancer. Committee opinion no. 477. Obstet Gynecol. 2011;117:742-6.

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