Often referred to euphemistically as the “silent killer” ovarian cancer is an extremely serious and unfortunately relatively common threat to women’s health and lives.

New research just published hopes to help with testing women for the very early stages of the disease.

The highly respected medical publication Lancet Oncology has released the findings of a massive trial that involved over 200,000 British women aged from 50 to 75. This large-scale investigation is intended to kick start the early detection of ovarian cancer.ultrasound test

This is just the first report from the researchers in a study that is expected to last through to 2015. It is a huge project, which began in 1985 and was intended by researchers at University College London’s institute for women’s health to last a minimum of 25 years.

The main thrust of the report shows that early detection is an absolutely vital tool for fighting ovarian cancer [Ovarian cancer treatment]. In fact the survival rate when detected early (stage 1) is as high as 90%.

Compared to stage three when the survival rate drops dramatically to a little over 25%; by the time the cancer has reached its final deadly stage four, women only have slightly more than a 15% chance of surviving for five years.

Testing can be performed quickly and painlessly with either a blood test or a scan with ultrasound equipment. The study tracked 200,000 women half of which had used one or other of the detection systems and the other half of which had no investigation.

The message from the researchers is that screening should become the regular norm for women over 50 in order to dramatically reduce the number of deaths from ovarian cancer.