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Health Educ Behav. 2012 Feb;39(1):57-66. doi: 10.1177/1090198111407185. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

Physician knowledge and awareness of CA-125 as a screen for ovarian cancer in the asymptomatic, average-risk population.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, K-57, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


Effective early detection strategies for ovarian cancer do not exist. Current screening guidelines recommend against routine screening using CA-125 alone or in combination with transvaginal ultrasonography (TVS). In this study, the authors used the 2008 DocStyles survey to measure clinician beliefs about the effectiveness of CA-125 and TVS in the asymptomatic, average-risk population in the United States. To assess the need for provider education, the authors used the 2008 HealthStyles survey to examine public awareness of CA-125. Of 1,250 physician respondents, 40.4% said both CA-125 and TVS were effective screens, and 28.3% said neither was an effective ovarian cancer screen in the asymptomatic, average-risk population. Obstetrician/gynecologists [OB/GYNs] more often had responses consistent with current guidelines: 56.5% of OB/GYNs, compared with 34.4% and 29.8% of family/general practitioners and internists, respectively, said neither CA-125 nor TVS was an effective screen. Almost one third of women surveyed reported having heard of CA-125, and about one tenth said they had the CA-125 test. These findings support the need for additional provider education. Educational efforts should include lack of evidence for, as well as the potential harms of, screening for ovarian cancer with CA-125.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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