September 15, 2022

Diagnostics Fact Sheet Aims to Inform Women’s Cancer Screenings  

By Monica Lefton, SWHR Communications Manager. 

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. While the cancer death rate has fallen more than 25% in the last 20 years, in part due to treatment, prevention, and screening innovations, hundreds of thousands of individuals in the United States still die each year due to cancer. Certain cancers disproportionally or exclusively effect women, including breast and ovarian cancer, respectively.  

To help educate women about the important role of screening and diagnostic testing in cancer care, the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) developed the The Value of Screening and Diagnostics for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Fact Sheet. 


A woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is one in eight, and a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer is one in 78. Risks for both cancers can increase depending on age, family history, or genetic makeup (specifically having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes). Having dense breast or a history of breast disease can impact one’s breast cancer risk, and certain histories of fertility treatments and endometriosis can impact one’s ovarian cancer risk. 

Given the impact of breast and ovarian cancer on women, it is helpful to be aware of the risk factors, incidence, and screening and diagnostic testing options available for each. The diagnostics fact sheet aims at providing this information in an easy-to-understand format as well as share policy needs and opportunities that could improve outcomes. 

While additional investments in research and more precise treatments may one day eliminate cancer from our health care realities, improved awareness for and utilization of screening and diagnostic mechanisms will help ensure women receive the best possible outcome.  

This fact sheet is part of SWHR’s larger Value of Diagnostics within Women’s Health program which includes a webinar series exploring several topics across women’s health: 

SWHR’s Value of Diagnostics within Women’s Health series is supported by an educational sponsorship from Roche. SWHR maintains editorial control and independence over educational content.