Pap smears could test for ovarian cancer

Posted at: 01/09/2013 10:55 PM

Scientists say women could someday be tested for ovarian cancer with a Pap smear.

Right now there are no screening tools for the cancer and survival rates are low, because its often caught in later stages.

Normally Pap smears are used to test for cervical cancer.

Researchers have discovered that cells can flake off of tumors in the ovaries or the lining of the uterus and enter the cervix where they can be picked up.

Cells from ovarian tumors were found using sophisticated DNA testing.

Doctors say it will take years to determine if this could work as a consistent screening tool, so women shouldn't expect to see any changes to Pap tests soon.