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New Ovarian Cancer Blood Test Could Be A ‘Major Breakthrough’

A new blood test for ovarian cancer could save thousands of lives, and has been hailed a "major breakthrough" by leading ovarian cancer charities.

Target Ovarian Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Action have welcomed research into the new screening test for the disease, which would enable earlier detection of the devastating disease, along with reducing unnecessary surgery.

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Swedish scientists from Uppsala University have identified 11 proteins in a sample of blood which can indicate the disease, dubbed the "silent killer". The research was published in the journal Communications Biology.

The disease occurs when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and spread in an uncontrolled way and form a tumour.

Around 60 per cent of cases are diagnosed when the cancer has already spread, making it very difficult to treat. Many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, such as feeling bloated or needing to pee frequently, are similar to other common conditions, making it harder to recognise.


In the UK, over 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, with the disease killing 4,230 lives every year.

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Out of 10 patients, only three to four survive five years after treatment, and there has been no test specific enough to justify screening. This new blood test could detecting the disease earlier and prevent the need for painful surgery.

Currently, many women need surgery just to diagnose the disease - and only one in five of these operations results in a cancer diagnosis.

"Early detection of ovarian cancer is the holy grail," said Alexandra Holden, Director of Communications at Target Ovarian Cancer.

"Research into new biomarkers shows great promise and we look forward to a future where more women are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage.

"If borne out by future research, this would represent a major breakthrough."

Chief Executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, Cary Wakefield, said: "This early stage research is exciting as we know early detection of ovarian cancer is vital in giving women the best chance of survival but, unlike so many other cancers, there is currently no screening tool available worldwide.

"The more focus ovarian cancer screening gets, the faster it will become a reality, which is why, just like our international colleagues, we are funding research here in the UK to develop a screening tool. Together, we will put an end to this disease."

For more information and support related to ovarian cancer, visit www.targetovariancancer.org.uk.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: News, Life News, Health

Deborah Cicurel

Deborah Cicurel is a freelance journalist at Pretty52. She writes entertainment, travel and lifestyle content for a variety of print and digital titles.

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