IT’S A test that saved the life of Pam Kieser and now she wants to see it available on the NHS.
The 76-year-old took part in a part-funded NHS trial for the early detection of ovarian cancer.
I would definitely tell women to have the test, 100 per cent, because it saved my life. You can’t get better than thatPam Kieser, 76
More than 19,000 women attended the then St Mary’s Hospital in Milton Road, Portsmouth, to take part in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening, which started in 2005 and involved a total of 200,000 women nationwide over 15 years having regular tests.
Pam, of Heath Road, Locks Heath, said: ‘I had a letter through the post asking if I wanted to take part in the trial and I thought “why not”.
‘I went along to St Mary’s every six months for a blood test and the results were coming back fine.
‘But then in 2009 a test found something wasn’t quite right.’
The Roca – Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm– test measures changes in the protein called CA125 over time.
Currently there is no routine screening for ovarian cancer, partly because the existing CA125 protein test is not accurate enough and can only be given once symptoms start to appear.
Pam had her ovaries, womb and appendix removed at Queen Alexandra Hospital six years ago, and has been cancer-free since.
Pam, a retired store keeper, added: ‘Without the screening I would never have known I had cancer.
‘I had no symptoms whatsoever. I would definitely tell women to have the test, 100 per cent, because it saved my life. You can’t get better than that.
‘I was lucky that they’d caught it in the early stages, before it had spread, very lucky.’
The trial is now going through the final verifications and it is hoped it will eventually be used as a screening programme for all women aged 50 and over.
Consultant gynaecologist Rob Woolas can offer it privately from his clinic at the Spire Portsmouth Hospital.
He said: ‘The test is definitely capable of early diagnosis. It offers something when the patient is asymptomatic.’