A List of Tests to Detect Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a cancer that forms in or on an ovary. It results in abnormal cells that can invade or spread to other parts of the body



Ovarian cancer is a cancer that forms in or on an ovary. It results in abnormal cells that can invade or spread to other parts of the body. Common areas to which the cancer may spread include the lining of the abdomen, lymph nodes, lungs, and liver.
There are different types of tests to check for the cancer and its growth inside the body.

Physical Exam
Your doctor will first take your history and do a physical exam to look for signs of ovarian cancer. These include an enlarged ovary (on a pelvic exam) and signs of fluid in the abdomen (which is called ascites).

Consultation With A Specialist

If the results of your pelvic exam or other tests suggest that you have ovarian cancer, you will need a doctor or surgeon who specializes in treating women with this type of cancer, a gynaecologic oncologist.

Tests like computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and ultrasound studies can confirm whether a pelvic mass is present. They can show if ovarian cancer has spread (metastasized) to other tissues and organs.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

For a PET scan, radioactive glucose (sugar) is given to look for the cancer. Because cancers use glucose at a higher rate than normal tissues, the radioactivity will tend to concentrate in the cancer.

Laparoscopy

This procedure uses a thin, lighted tube inserted in the lower abdomen through which a doctor can look at the ovaries and other pelvic organs and tissues in the area.

Biopsy

The only way to determine for certain if a growth is cancer is to remove a sample of the growth from the suspicious area and examine it under a microscope. This procedure is called a biopsy.

Blood tests

Blood count tests make sure you have enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. There will also be tests to measure your kidney and liver function as well as your general health status. Women who have a high CA-125 level are often referred to a gynaecologic oncologist.

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