Last week the FDA (Food and drug administration) in America issued a statement alerting women to the risks associated with the use of tests being marketed as ovarian cancer screening tests.
One such test under fire is the ROCA test, which is currently only available privately here in the UK. The company that makes ROCA, Abcodia, has since suspended sales of the test in the USA.
The Agency said it is especially concerned about delaying effective preventative treatments for women who show no symptoms, but who are still at increased risk for developing ovarian cancer as there is no evidence that the test positively impacts mortality rates.
Our Chief Executive, Katherine Taylor, said: “Despite extensive research – like the UKCTOCS study that many of you may have heard of or been involved in – there are currently no proven, reliable screening tests for ovarian cancer.
“The most important action you can take if you feel you are at risk or experiencing symptoms is to talk to your GP so they can investigate further if necessary.
“If you are worried about your family history it’s important to talk to your GP too. These tests are not proven to save lives so if you are at greater risk, from a BRCA1/2 gene mutation for example, it’s important to consider all of your available options.”
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms (persistent bloating, persistent tummy pain, needing to wee more often, feeling full very quickly) keep a symptoms diary to take along to your doctor. Search Ovarian Cancer Action in your phone’s app store or download a paper version here.
ROCA is still available for private use in the UK and the company that markets the test, Abcodia, is due to release a statement in the UK any day now. We’ll update you all as soon as we know more.