Blood calcium levels can predict ovarian cancer


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Blood calcium levels can predict ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is considered one of the most fatal gynecologic cancers because it remains silent for a long time. Now, researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina, the United States, say that a simple blood test could forewarn women about this deadly cancer. All women need to do is to find out their blood calcium levels. If the levels are high, then there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer, said the researchers.

The Wake Forest team studied two groups -- women who were later diagnosed with ovarian cancer and women who later died of ovarian cancer - and found both had high levels of calcium in blood. The study, published in the journal Gynecologic Oncology, was led by Gary G Schwartz, who did a similar study among patients with prostate cancer. His study had shown that men whose calcium levels were higher than normal had an increased risk of fatal prostate cancer.

The university's press release quotes Schwartz as saying, "Everyone's got calcium and the body regulates it very tightly." As the medical fraternity knows that some rare forms of ovarian cancer are associated with very high calcium, he decided to check whether more common ovarian cancers are also associated with moderately high calcium. The theory seemed plausible because ovarian cancers express increased levels of a protein, parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTRHrP), which is known to raise calcium levels in blood in many other cancers.

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