NEW YORK — Healthy women should not have screening tests to spot ovarian cancer, a US panel said, updating and reaffirming its 2004 recommendation against the procedure.
The US Preventive Services Task Force reviewed studies that have been conducted since its earlier recommendation and found that ovarian cancer screening using transvaginal ultrasound and a blood test called CA-125 does not reduce the number of deaths from the disease, according to the recommendation published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
In particular, a US study last year of 78,216 women found that those who were screened did not have a lower death rate from the cancer than women who were not tested.
‘‘This is very high-quality evidence; it very strongly supports not screening,’’ said Virginia Moyer, chairwoman of the task force who is also a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. ‘‘There is a risk of serious harm associated with screening.’’
Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 22,280 American women this year, and 15,500 patients will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
It is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in US women, the cancer society said.