CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A doctor at UVA Cancer Center says a new study suggests tampons could help detect ovarian cancer, which could potentially save the lives of thousands of women.
Dr. Chip Landen Jr. shared the findings with WTVR.
“Gynecologic malignancies such as cervical cancer can be detected at early stages through regular pap smears,” UVA Cancer Center gynecologic oncologist Dr. Chip Landen Jr. told WTVR. “But similar screening is not available for ovarian cancer, which often presents in an advanced stage when the cancer has spread.”
The study involved 33 women who inserted a tampon the night before their surgery for potential ovarian cancer.
Five of the women ended up having ovarian cancer and intact fallopian tubes, and three of them had DNA from the tumor in the tampon, doctors said.
Landen says more research is needed, but adds that this is exciting proof that cancer cells can make it through the gynecologic tract and be detected in a noninvasive way with a simple tampon.