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Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer - Diagnosis

Tests and procedures used to diagnose ovarian cancer include:

Initial Tests

  • Pelvic examination
    Your doctor may feel the ovaries and nearby organs for any lumps or suspicious abnormality.
    pelvic examination for ovarian cancer
  • Ultrasound scan
    This is a painless test used to view the structures inside your body. The ultrasound probe may be placed on your abdomen or inside your vagina to scan the ovaries.
    ultrasound scan for ovarian cancer
  • Blood test
    A blood test may be done to detect a protein called CA-125. The level of CA-125 can be high in women with ovarian cancer. However, other non-cancerous conditions can also cause a high level of CA-125. Thus, this blood test alone is not a conclusive gauge for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Further Tests

You may be advised to go for further tests depending on your symptoms and the results of your initial tests.

  • Imaging tests
    • CT or MRI scans of the lower abdomen can provide details of the internal organs structure and help to determine the extent of the disease.
    • A chest X-ray may be done to check if the cancer has spread to the lungs.
  • Blood test
    • To assess general health and to check if the cancer has affected liver or kidney function.
  • Scans of the bowel or urinary tract
    • These tests may be needed if you have symptoms such as constipation or urinary frequency, which may indicate that the cancer has spread to these areas.
  • Aspiration of fluid in abdomen
    • If your abdomen is swollen with fluid, a sample of the fluid will be taken and examined under the microscope to look for cancer cells.
  • Surgery
    • Surgery and a biopsy may be required to determine the extent of the cancer and if it originates from the ovaries.

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