I read this article about how doctors are starting to discover why ovarian caner is so hard to diagnose. It's great to see the recent progress in cancer research... even if it isn't a cure at least they are starting to understand the mechanics of such a terrible disease.
WASHINGTON - Tiny ovarian tumors lurk in the Fallopian tubes for an average of four years before they grow large enough to be detected, researchers reported on Monday in a study that explains why diagnosis usually comes too late to save a woman's life.
They said they were trying to find ways to improve testing for the cancer, one of the deadliest because it is so hard to detect before it has spread.
"Reliable early detection would save so many more lives than many new blockbuster anticancer drugs," Howard Hughes Medical Institute researcher Dr. Patrick Brown of Stanford University in California, who led the study, said in a statement.
"There is a long window of opportunity for potentially life-saving early detection of this disease, but the tumor spreads while it is still much too small to be detected by any of the tests that have been developed or proposed to date."
Ovarian cancer kills 140,000 women every year globally and 15,000 in the United States alone. Genetic mutations are known to raise the risk, but most patients do not have a clear genetic risk, and no good screening test exists.