Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from a gynecologic malignancy
among women in the United States and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths
among women overall after lung, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic.1 Every year, approximately 23 000 women are diagnosed
as having ovarian cancer and 14 000 women die of the disease.2 One reason for the relatively high case-fatality rate
is failure to identify early stage disease. While cure rates for early stage
disease approach 90%, the overwhelming majority of women with ovarian cancer
are diagnosed during stage III or stage IV, when cure rates are low. The failure
to detect early stage disease has been attributed to inadequate screening
tools and lack of early clinical symptoms.3
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