Around 22,500 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer while 14,000 lives are taken by the disease each year, according to the American Cancer Society. This has caused some to call it "the silent killer" as it is difficult to detect until the later stages.

However, a new test currently under development by Amy Skubitz, PhD, and the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program is looking to change that.

"If we could actually have a test that would detect it early, that's the ultimate goal," said Dr. Amy Skubitz in an interview with Kare 11.

Dr. Skubitz and her team have discovered a panel of six blood proteins that signal the presence of advanced stages of ovarian cancer.

"When we looked at the levels of these six proteins in the blood of almost 150 women, then we were able to say whether or not the women had ovarian cancer," explained Dr. Skubitz.

Currently, her research revolves around women with later stages of the disease, though she plans to refine the test to help women in earlier stages. Researchers hope this major breakthrough will result in a test as common as a pap smear.

Dr. Skubitz team envisions a time when a woman can, "come into the doctor's office, have a blood test taken, and you could definitively tell whether a woman had these early stages of ovarian cancer," said Dr. Skubitz.