Elisabeth Manville
Feb 10, 2012

Researchers discover that most deadly form of ovarian cancer does not start in the ovaries

Scientists at McGill University have discovered that the most deadly form of ovarian cancer does not, in fact, originate in the ovary. These findings could change the way the disease is diagnosed and treated. High grade serous cancer (HGSC), which causes 90 percent of ovarian cancer deaths, often starts in the Fallopian tubes. “Put bluntly, we had the name wrong, the staging wrong, and the diagnostic testing wrong. It is no wonder we have lost so many lives to this disease,” says Dr. Lucy Gilbert, principle investigator in the DOvE (Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer Early) study. Researchers carefully assessed women exhibiting symptoms of ovarian cancer, including, but not limited to, bloating, nausea, unexplained weightloss, and vaginal bleeding and spotting, leading to early detection. Catching the disease at that early point is crucial -- 73 percent of women can benefit from surgery leaving no visible signs of cancer.