Expat health insurance policyholders may soon be able to find out if they have a high chance of developing ovarian cancer by filling in a form over the internet.
Experts at the University of Nottingham and ClinRisk have developed an algorithm through QResearch than can evaluate an individual's likelihood of suffering from this condition by assessing a combination of risk factors and symptoms.
A study into its efficacy published at BMJ.com found it could forecast 63 per cent of the cases of this illness in the ten per cent of females deemed to have the highest chance of developing the cancer over 24 months.
Under one-third of all diagnoses take place when the disease is in its early stages, but 90 per cent of these people have a survival rate of over five years when treated, highlighting the importance of recognising this condition early.
It could help medical professionals to utilise international health insurance payments to use tools such as ultrasonography, blood tests and other scans to determine if those deemed to require further investigation have ovarian cancer.
QResearch has already demonstrated it can be effective in identifying those who are at risk of suffering from cancer of the lungs, bowels or pancreas, as well as gastro-oesophageal tumours, fractures, blood clots, kidney and heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes.
"Ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to spot and we hope that this new tool will help GPs identify patients most at risk of having ovarian cancer for early referral and investigations," professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, who led the research, declared.
Although it can occur in younger women, 85 per cent of cases of this condition are in post-menopausal females, with surgery and chemotherapy generally used to treat it.
Ladies who are infertile, obese, have used hormone replacement therapy or with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer have an elevated chance of suffering from the disease, while breastfeeding, having children and using the contraceptive pill are believed to offer some protection from it.