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Ovarian Cancer: A Clinical Challenge That Needs Some Basic Answers

  • Kate Lawrenson,
  • Simon A Gayther mail

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

  • Published: February 03, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000025

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early symptoms of ovca

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:35 GMT

Author: Gail Reiner
Position: Family Nurse Practitioner
Institution: Minute Clinic
Submitted Date: March 09, 2009
Published Date: March 11, 2009
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Any research which brings attention to ovarian cancer is deeply appreciated by me and others who are surviving this devastating gynecologic cancer. I am disturbed however by the authors' perpetuation of the myth that early stage ovarian cancers are often asymptomatic and have vague signs and symptoms.

A careful and attentive history, pelvic exam and vaginal ultrasound in conjunction with a Ca-125 has been shown to dramatically improve earlier diagnosis of this disease. In my own case and that of every patient I have met surviving this disease pelvic exams were commonly not done despite persistent returns to the doctor's office with abdominal complaints. Please see the work of Barbara Goff and others who are helping to promote the importance of listening to the patient e.g. Cancer. 2008 Aug 1;113(3):484-9.

No competing interests declared.