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May 4, 1994

Consensus Panel Says Benefits of Screening Women for Ovarian Cancer Currently Unproven

JAMA. 1994;271(17):1305-1306. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510410017007

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A NATIONAL Institutes of Health consensus development panel has some advice for women, and their physicians, who may be concerned about ovarian cancer. Panel chair Vicki Seltzer, MD, head of obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY, says, "Women are overly worried. The risk of ovarian cancer is only 1 in 70 unless the woman belongs to a high-risk group."

"I think there is a tremendous fear of ovarian cancer, and it greatly exceeds the risk," says panel member Carolyn Hendricks, MD, a medical oncologist in practice in Rockville, Md.

Risk factors for ovarian cancer include nulliparity, North American or Northern European descent, a history of endometrial, colon, or breast cancer, and a family history of ovarian cancer. However, there is a small percentage of women who are at significantly increased risk of disease due to three hereditary ovarian cancer syndromes: breast-ovarian cancer syndrome,

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