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National clinical trial on early detection of ovarian cancer available at Massey

August 14, 2017

???The governor??s proclamation draws attention to the importance of regular screenings to help women prevent and identify dangerous cancers,??? said Weldon Chafe, M.D., a gynecological oncologist and professor of gynecology and obstetrics at VCU. ???Gynecological cancers are the fourth-largest cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States, and early detection is the key factor in saving lives.???

More than 80,000 women of all ages and with varying health histories are diagnosed with gynecological cancer each year, including cancers of the ovary, uterus, cervix and vulva.

Cancers that are diagnosed in later stages are often more fatal. For example, the incidence of ovarian cancer is less than one-eighth the incidence rate of breast cancer, yet the fatality rate for ovarian cancer is 70 percent greater.

???Make your appointments at intervals advised by your doctor and keep them,??? Chafe said. ???These cancers often have few outward symptoms, and pap smears and pelvic exams are key to their early detection.???

Massey Cancer Center also is participating in a national clinical trial on ovarian cancer prevention and early detection. The study, ???Prospective Study of Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy and Longitudinal CA-125 Screening Among Women at Increased Genetic Risk of Ovarian Cancer,??? examines possible ways to help certain women lower their risk of ovarian cancer and to find ovarian cancer early. Women who have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or women who have a change in one of the two genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, may be eligible.

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Professor Ashworth adds: "There have been real improvements in breast cancer treatment and diagnosis over the last decade but what's absolutely vital for the future is to prevent the disease occurring in the first place. To do this we first need to pinpoint and understand the causes of breast cancer - an area of research that has not received enough attention to date."

"Within a few years, we can expect the first results of the study to emerge, giving us a unique insight into the causes of breast cancer and, eventually, allowing us to work out methods to prevent it occurring in the first place."

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, says: "Women tell Breakthrough that breast cancer is their number one health concern and yet we still can't tell women what they desperately want to know - how they, their mothers, sisters, daughters and grand daughters can reduce their chances of developing this devastating disease.

"Breakthrough's vision is a future free from the fear of breast cancer and I hope that by signing up to join the study, I am doing my bit to help make this vision a reality for future generations."

Professor Peter Rigby, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, said: "We are delighted to be a partner in this exciting study. We are confident that this partnership will lead to our scientists knowing much more about what causes breast cancer which will help us to prevent many women from suffering from this terrible disease."

This unique study into the causes of breast cancer keeps Breakthrough and The Institute of Cancer Research at the forefront of research into the disease, and will complement the work already underway at The Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre - the UK's first dedicated breast cancer research facility, based at The Institute of Cancer Research.

Women aged 18 and over from any background living in Britain who are interested in taking part in The Breakthrough Generations Study can visit www.breakthroughgenerations or telephone 0870 242 4485 to request further information.

For more information about Breakthrough, breast cancer or to make a donation, visit www.breakthrough or call 08 080 100 200. For more information about The Institute visit www.icr.ac or call 0800 731 9468.

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