In a draft statement released April 11, 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) again stated that screening average-risk women for ovarian cancer does more harm than good.
The USPSTF, an independent volunteer panel of non-government experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, is composed of primary care providers (such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, and nurses). This prestigious group conducts rigorous scientific reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services (such as screening, counseling, and use of preventive medications) to assess the strength of evidence of the risks and benefits of treatments and diagnostic tests, and develops accurate, up-to-date, relevant recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems. These recommendations are published as “Recommendation Statements” and have formed the basis for clinical standards in medical practice.
The draft Recommendation Statement released today reaffirms the USPSTF findings from 2004, in which they recommended against screening for ovarian cancer, citing lack of evidence that routine screening with CA-125 and transvaginal ultrasound reduces deaths from the disease.
Importantly, this recommendation does not apply to women at high risk for the disease, either because of family or personal history, or other risk factors like BRCA1 or 2 genetic mutations.
OCRF is currently working with the USPSTF on a different initiative, to evaluate Genetic Risk Assessment and BRCA Mutation Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility.