A recent study has confirmed that testing healthy women to detect ovarian cancer is not effective.

34,000 healthy women aged 55–74 were screened annually for 5 years with an ultrasound and a blood test (CA125). Most of the cancers were found late and the earlier detection did not improve the outcome for these patients.

However, it is important that women are able to recognise the symptoms which are often vague. The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre has developed a new campaign to educate women about the symptoms of ovarian cancer and Ovarian Cancer Australia has created a Symptom Diary to help record them.

A Pap smear will not detect the disease.

Further information:


  • Please note this information was correct at time of publication.
  • For up to date information, speak to your doctor.

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