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Cancer: Smear tests could help to determine a women’s risk of ovarian cancer says research


In the study, published in Nature Communications, the use of smear tests in detecting ovarian cancer was analysed.

Cervical cell samples were collected from 242 women with ovarian cancer and 869 without which was led by researchers led by Doctor Martin Widschwendter.

They measured 14,000 specific epigenetic changes — which switch genes on and off — in the cells, which were collected using a smear test, to establish whether there was a pattern in those with ovarian cancer.

After establishing a pattern, they found the samples could be used to correctly identify ovarian cancer in 54 percent of women aged over 50 and 71 per cent of those under 50.

Overall, the tests had a specificity of 75 percent.



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