Ovarian Cancer Screening Program at UK Markey Cancer
Center, which began in 1987, screens women using transvaginal
sonography. Since the Ovarian Cancer Screening Program
began, the Kentucky Extension Homemakers have supported
the program by participating in regular screens and
by donating $1 per member annually.
3, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) --
Surgery may not be necessary for women with ovarian
cysts as large as 4 inches in diameter. A 15-year
University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center study
shows the risk of cancer developing due to simple
ovarian cysts is low.
John R. van Nagell Jr., M.D., chief, Division of Gynecologic
Oncology, UK College of Medicine, presented the findings
today at the Society
of Gynecologic Oncology annual conference in New
the study 15,106 women aged 50 and older participated
in the UK Ovarian Cancer Screening study and received
an annual transvaginal sonography. Of the women screened,
2,761 had simple cysts. But, only 79 had surgery because
their cyst did not go away or was causing pain; and
54 had their ovaries removed during a hysterectomy
or other surgical procedure. None of the women had
women with cysts had follow-up sonographies every
three to six months for an average of six years. However,
most cysts resolved spontaneously within three months.
Ovarian Cancer Screening Program at UK
Markey Cancer Center, which began in 1987, screens
women using transvaginal sonography. Since the Ovarian
Cancer Screening Program began, the Kentucky
Extension Homemakers have supported the program
by participating in regular screens and by donating
$1 per member annually.
During the examination, a small probe is placed in
the vagina to take a sonogram, a kind of “picture,”
of the ovaries and to measure the volume in the ovaries.
The procedure is painless, radiation-free and can
be completed in five to 10 minutes. Participants are
to the American
Cancer Society, ovarian cancer is the sixth most
common cancer in women, and is the fifth leading cause
of death due to cancer in women. Ovarian cancer is
the most lethal of all gynecological cancers. More
women die from ovarian cancer than any other reproductive
Transvaginal ultrasound can detect ovarian cancer
early and identify other abnormalities such as cysts.
In the past, these cysts would be removed. However,
recent studies have shown cysts less than 2 inches
in diameter were unlikely to be malignant and only
needed to be monitored with sonography.
University of Kentucky College of Medicine Division
of Obstetrics and Gynecology faculty and staff participating
in the study included Susan C. Modesitt, M.D., assistant
professor; Frederick R. Ueland, M.D., assistant professor;
Paul D. DePriest, M.D., associate professor; and Edward
J. Pavlik, Ph.D., director of research. Richard J.
Kryscio, Ph.D., director of the Biostatistics Consulting
Unit with the UK Chandler Medical Center, also participated
in the study.