Population based case-control study: ovarian cancer in primary care
What symptoms might indicate ovarian cancer in women presenting to primary care?
- By: Martin Dawes
Ovarian cancer is not an easy cancer to diagnose early, and it is not easy to cure if detected late. Fortunately, it is not common. Over 75% of patients present at an advanced stage (stage III or IV), and although 80% of these women derive benefit from surgery, there is a recurrence in nearly all of them at a median time of 15 months from surgery. Without any effective screening test it is important to try to make the diagnosis as early as possible and to identify the symptoms associated with ovarian cancer.
The aim of this research was to lead to earlier diagnosis. It was therefore important to identify the symptoms in the setting in which patients are likely to present early. This was one of the most critical and novel aspects of this study. By using electronic records in primary care, not only did they use data from