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Ovarian Cancer Health Center

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Evidence of Benefit


Among women in the general U.S. population, simultaneous screening with CA 125 and TVU compared with usual care did not reduce ovarian cancer mortality. Diagnostic evaluation following a false-positive screening test result was associated with complications.

In the UKCTOCS trial,[7] multimodality screening included a two-stage screening arm with CA 125 measured and used to estimate an ovarian cancer risk score. That risk score determined follow-up. Elevated risk was followed with a transvaginal ultrasound. Intermediate risk scores were followed up with a repeat CA 125 measure and recalculation of the risk score, if risk remained intermediate or higher than an ultrasound. The reported sensitivity and specificity scores from the prevalent screen for the multimodality screening arm were 89.4% and 99.8% overall; 89.5% and 99.8% for invasive cancers.

Other Markers

Proteomics has been used to identify patterns or specific serum markers that may be used in place of, or in conjunction with, CA 125 measurements for the early detection of cancer.[25,26] These studies have been small case-control studies that are limited by sample size and by the number of early-stage cancer cases included. Further evaluation is needed to determine whether any additional markers have clinical utility for the early detection of ovarian cancer.


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  22. Vasen HF, Tesfay E, Boonstra H, et al.: Early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in families with BRCA mutations. Eur J Cancer 41 (4): 549-54, 2005.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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