High calcium may be sign of ovarian cancer

High blood calcium levels could predict ovarian cancer, research in the US suggests.

A study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina found women who later had an ovarian cancer diagnosis and women who later died of ovarian cancer had higher levels of calcium in the blood than women who did not before they were diagnosed with the cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the most fatal of the gynecologic cancers because it is hard to detect and the cancer is usually late-stage when symptoms arise.

In 2010, 7,011 women in the UK were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.

Dr Gary Schwartz, who led the Wake Forest study, said separate research showing a link between high calcium levels in men and an increased risk of fatal prostate cancer had made him wonder if there was a similar connection with ovarian cancer.

He said early ovarian cancer diagnosis could be achieved through the use of a calcium biomarker, but added more research is still needed.

"We found the link between serum calcium and ovarian cancer; we confirmed it, and even though the study is small, we're reporting it because it's a very simple thing in theory to test."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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