Ovarian Cancer Tests Incorrect

January 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Doctors and patients rely on life-changing tests that are supposed to reveal what's going on in the body. One woman trusted a test that didn't paint a true picture.Amy Brannock's a musician, an artist and a two-time ovarian cancer survivor.

"I actually went to the emergency room thinking I had appendicitis, and that was when they did a CT scan and found a tumor."

She had a hysterectomy and chemo. Finally, the standard blood test for ovarian cancer CA 125 determined she beat it.

"So, I thought, 'OK, we've got it treated. I'm good to go," said Brannock. For three years, Amy went on with her life thinking she was cancer-free. But all along, the test was lying.

"Amy's CA-125 has been normal just like any normal person," said Daniel Clarke-Pearson MD, Gynecologic Oncologist. It wasn't until she felt a lump in her neck that her doctors realized the cancer was back with a vengeance.

Typically doctors preach about yearly cancer screening, but according to his study in the New England journal of medicine, Doctor Daniel Carke-Pearson says the average woman should not be tested for ovarian cancer.

"I say don't get tested because it leads to a lot of unnecessary surgery, and on one hand, the testing could lead to a false sense of security," said Daniel Clarke-Pearson MD.

The standard blood test misses up to 50% of early ovarian cancers. Abnormal ultrasound readings are also incorrect up to 90% of the time.

"That's what's so insidious about this particular cancer. It's so sneaky," said Brannock.

Amy's cancer is incurable, but with regular treatment, she's striving for many more years of music and memories.


Load Comments