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Ovarian cancer screening (doesn't exist)
[00:00:00] Okay, Saturday. So now we're talking about ovarian cancer, and we're gonna talk today about screening tests. Why is there no screening tests for ovarian cancer? It's not because scientists have not tried to find it. They're consistently trying to find a circulating protein or something in the blood that will alert us early.
The whole point of a screening test is that screening tests have to be, um, they have to. Adhere to a strict, rigorous set of rules. They have to be readily available. They have to be affordable. They have to be able to find a disease in a preclinical phase where we can actually do something about it. The ovaries are small and they're in there and they're sneaky.
So unlike the breasts where you can squeeze with a mammogram, unlike the colon, where you can go inside with a colonoscopy, unlike the pap smear where we use that to look for cervical cancer, we can't readily see the ovaries on a test that we can do at an interval that will make sense. You might be saying, well, why not?
Why can't we just do an ultra. Well, you can do an ultrasound, but it's not considered a screening tool because it's not necessarily easily readily available and able to pick up an ovarian cancer early because the overs changed so frequently [00:01:00] that we would not know what interval to do the ultrasounds at.
In fact, the studies have shown you'd maybe need to do it every three to four months, which you can imagine would add cost and stress. Plus, there would be a lot of false positives because as your ovaries change through the month, there are multiple times that you will have a benign. But that would lead you down the road of having to do treatment, which means surgery, which means concern for things like premature menopause if your ovaries were removed too soon, or complications.
So there is, as of yet, no screening tool, but there are diagnostic tools, so stay tuned.