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Ovarian Cancer Screening—What Women Want
  1. Edward J. Pavlik, PhD,* and
  2. John R. van Nagell, MD
  1. *Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center–Markey Cancer Center; and
  2. American Cancer Society Professor of Clinical Oncology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Edward J. Pavlik, PhD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Kentucky Medical Center, 800 Rose St, Lexington, KY 40536. E-mail:


Background The attitude of women with regard to the threat of ovarian cancer and toward screening for this disease is undefined.

Objective To examine the 30-day moving results of a poll presented to women with a brief instructional component about ovarian cancer.

Methods A poll was incorporated into the information page ( used for recruitment of women into the University of Kentucky Ovarian Screening Research Program. Instructional information on ovarian cancer was included in the poll. The information page has received 26,055 unique visits, with 89.6% originating in the United States. Poll tabulation changes daily to cover the most current 30-day moving window.

Results The current window (December 19, 2011) of poll results included views from 748 respondents. Ninety-seven percent of the respondents felt that ovarian cancer was a concern or threat to them. Only approximately 3% of women who felt that they were without risk factors and did not have any symptoms responded that they either did not want to participate in screening or were undecided, whereas only 2 women (<1%) with risk factors answered similarly. Ninety-one percent of the responders replied that their health insurance should pay $150 or more for screening, whereas 64% replied that they would pay $150 or more if their insurance would not. Only 1% replied that they would not want or need ovarian screening no matter what the cost, whereas 78% felt ovarian screening cost should be in line with other screening tests and be part of the standard of care.

Conclusions Women in the United States indicate in the ongoing poll that they are concerned about ovarian cancer and want screening to the extent that they express a willingness to pay for it from their own resources.

  • Ovarian screening
  • Women
  • Online poll

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  • This work was supported by grants from the Telford Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Kentucky.

  • An online poll at indicates that women feel ovarian cancer is a threat, want screening, and are even willing to pay for it.