NICE Guidance No. CG122 On Ovarian Cancer

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has issued a guidance to GP’s on the initial testing for ovarian cancer. Women with frequent or persistent bowel symptoms, particularly if aged over 50 should have a CA125 blood test with an ultrasound scan of the ovaries if the CA 125 level is elevated. CA125 is a marker of ovarian cancer but may be raised in other conditions, particularly endometriosis. It may also rise if a woman is menstruating and therefore women shouldn’t have this test during a period. Remember that ovarian cancer is rare but bowel symptoms are extremely common. It is hoped that this guidance will lead to earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer.