Screening by CA125 and Transvaginal Ultrasound for Ovarian Cancer in Postmenopausal Women: A Pilot Study in Malwa Region of Punjab
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The causes of ovarian cancer are multifold and the incidence is increasing gradually. The aim of the study is to screen for ovarian cancer at the population level among postmenopausal women belonging to a rural belt, Malwa region of Punjab, India, where cancer incidence is on a rise.
A total of 726 postmenopausal women from 33 villages of Talwandi Sabo block, Bathinda district, Punjab, India, participated in the ovarian cancer screening. Serum CA125 estimation followed by transvaginal ultrasound was done in order to detect any signs of ovarian carcinoma.
Mean level of CA125 was 8.15 (SD 11.59) U/ml with an interquartile range of 3.0–8.81 U/ml. Of the 726 postmenopausal women screened for ovarian cancer risk, 24 women (3.3%) were observed with elevated levels of CA125 (> 35 U/ml). No case of complex cyst/ovarian carcinoma was detected. Mean level of CA125 was higher with increasing age at menopause. 93.4% of the women were agriculturalists. A higher mean CA125 level was observed in women involved in agriculture (8.05 U/ml) as compared to non-agricultural women (5.87 U/ml).
The proportion of women detected with abnormal CA125 levels in the present study is quite large, and women of the region should be monitored regularly for any increase in CA125 levels. It is the earnest need of the hour to organize large-scale awareness and screening camps in villages of Talwandi Sabo block, Punjab, India, especially those in remote locations having minimum access to medical care facilities.
KeywordsCA125 Ovarian cancer Postmenopausal women Menopause Agriculture
Age-adjusted incidence rate
Cancer antigen 125
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
Prostate, lung, colorectal and ovarian screening trial
This study was supported by funding from Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, India (6242-P86/RGCB/PMD/DBT/RKSN/2015), awarded to Dr Ratika Samtani. The authors express deep gratitude to the village heads and women of Punjab, India, who participated in the study and contributed to the research work.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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