New test helps track ovarian cancer in early stages

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DENVER -- Approximately 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. More than half will die from the disease.

The high fatality rate is based on the fact that ovarian cancer can be extremely difficult to detect.

Researchers say following a woman's blood tests may be the key to tracking the disease in the early stages.

The CA 125 test tracks changes in a protein in the blood that indicates the presence of a tumor.

Dr. Daniel Donato of Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers told FOX31 Denver studies show tracking the patterns the test reveals can save lives.

"If we pick up ovarian cancer in it's earliest stages, 90 percent of women are cured of the disease,"
Donato said.

The CA 125 test is a powerful diagnosis tool, but doctors say every woman should be diligent about getting annual exams and living a healthy lifestyle.

Women should also listen to their body's signals.

"We find a majority of women do have symptoms, unfortunately they are vague bloating abdominal distention, increased urinary frequency," Donato said.

Kathy McGovern is a 9 1/2 year ovarian cancer survivor.  She said constant monitoring and testing can mean the difference between life and death.

Kathy said if there's one thing she wants women to take to heart, it's that there's nothing wrong with having anything suspicious checkout out by the doctor.

"I beg women to check it out," McGovern said. "The number one symptom is denial."

For more information you can contact the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers  and .

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