This simple blood test could save you from ovarian cancer

Early detection of ovarian cancer is crucial for survival, and this simple but little known test could save thousands of lives.

Ovarian cancer affects around 7,500 women in the UK each year and a considerable amount of this figure represents the cases that go undetected for too long. As a result, the survival rate for these women is very low.

Coronavirus to blame for lack of early detection

And to make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has only discouraged women from getting regular check ups to avoid ovarian cysts from developing into full-blow cancer as many believe that GP's are only open for urgent care.

While symptoms can be quite ambiguous as they could be a sign of a completely different underlying issue the following are the most common:

  • Feeling bloated
  • Feeling full quickly or a loss of appetite
  • Pain or discomfort in the lower stomach area or back
  • Needing to urinate more often or more urgently
  • Sudden changes in bowel movements
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Unexplained or extreme tiredness

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms for prolonged amounts of times suddenly, then make sure to book an appointment with a GP and ask about the CA125 test.

How can the CA125 test help in diagnosing ovarian cancer?

The CA125 test is a blood test which checks for raised levels of a protein called CA125 which is the main indicator for ovarian cancer. The average value of the test should indicate a result of 35 CA125 levels in the blood so an unusually higher result might be a marker of ovarian cancer.

And although the test aren't 100% accurate it can definitely be helpful in the early detection of cancer. John Butler, Consultant Gynaecologist and LGF Medical Director, says:

CA125 is a test that your GP may order if you have signs or symptoms of Ovarian Cancer and is a very routine blood test done in the NHS. I’m delighted to see The Lady Garden Foundation spread the word of this simple test which can help to improve the odds of Ovarian Cancer being caught earlier and improving survival.
Breakthrough in ovarian cancer treatment to save thousands of lives Breakthrough in ovarian cancer treatment to save thousands of lives