February 7, 2012

Survey: Doctors Ignore Cancer Screening Guidelines?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Recent clinical guidelines recommend against routine ovarian cancer screening because incidence of ovarian cancer is low, there is no proof that screening affects mortality rates, and screening tests have low positive predictive values and high false-positive rates.

However, a recent survey has shown that physicians continue to routinely screen women for ovarian cancer that leads to unnecessary and expensive follow up tests or procedures.

Researchers surveyed 3,200 primary care physicians to see if they adhered to the clinical guidelines for screening. They were given a survey with questions about ovarian cancer and a woman´s annual examination. The survey showed that physicians in a solo practice, with longer time in practice, and a personal history of cancer are more likely to offer screening. Also physicians commonly offered screening and are more likely to do so for women who have more of a risk of obtaining ovarian cancer.

SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine, February 2012