Test Using Folate May Help Detect Ovarian Cancer Earlier

Cells need folate to divide. Rapidly growing cancer cells, such as ovarian, require large amounts of the vitamin and send out special receptors to increase folate intake. Therefore, folate attaches more easily to those cells than to normal tissue. After injecting the radioactively tagged folate, doctors scan the woman's abdomen and watch for highlighted areas, which would indicate a malignancy. Knowing if an ovarian tumor is cancerous helps doctors determine if special techniques will be needed to completely remove the cancer during surgery. In addition to identifying cancerous lesions,the test may help determine if the cancer has spread to other areas within the abdominal cavity, assess effectiveness of treatments and monitor for recurrences. http://www.lef.org/whatshot/index.html#folate

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