Ask the Doctor: Ovarian cancer, hemoglobin, CBD & drug tests

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 1:38 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1: September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Can you tell us about this type of cancer, and who should get screened for it?

DR. BOB: Ovarian cancer is tough topic to talk about. It is a hard cancer to detect and treat. It has a very high mortality rate. The question of whether to screen for ovarian cancer is also very tough.

Thankfully, ovarian cancer is uncommon. There are about 20,000 new cases yearly in the U.S. compared to breast cancer, which has about 200,000 new cases a year.

However, the low rate of ovarian cancer makes it very hard to detect because any screening program is going to result in many false positive tests which can lead to harm.

Currently, the recommendations for screening for ovarian cancer are only for women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. Some of these women will qualify to screen for ovarian cancer.

For women without a family history of ovarian cancer, it is not recommended to do any screening.

Question #2 (from Dorothy): What causes hemoglobin to be low?

DR. BOB: In medicine we call a low hemoglobin anemia. What this means is that the oxygen-carrying cells in the blood are reduced.

This can lead to symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, or dizziness. There are almost too many causes of anemia to even count.

One of the most common is iron deficiency. This is usually either due to a lack of sufficient iron in the diet (in a person who follows a vegan diet for instance) or from chronic blood loss (for instance in someone with a stomach ulcer or a woman with heavy periods).

Question #3 (from Andria): Will using a CBD product externally show up on a drug test?

DR. BOB: This question is a bit tricky to answer so you should consult your doctor.

There are many different types of drug tests. Some simply test for a handful of illicit drugs, such as amphetamines. Most of these drug tests only detect break down products of THC, not CBD.

These tests should only turn positive if there is THC contamination of the CBD product you are using. If the product has no THC impurities, the simple drug tests should not turn positive.

However, there are much more in-depth tests which probably would be able to detect CBD itself.