Exams and Tests
Some exams and tests that are done to look for or diagnose ovarian cancer include:
- A Reference biopsy Opens New Window, which is the only way to know for sure if a woman has ovarian cancer. This usually is done with a Reference laparotomy Opens New Window, through a cut (incision) in the belly.
- A physical exam, including a Reference pelvic exam Opens New Window and Reference Pap test Opens New Window. An ovarian lump may be felt during a pelvic exam. A Reference rectovaginal exam Opens New Window may also be done to feel the pelvic organs.
- A Reference cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) level, to measure a protein found on the surface of many ovarian cancer cells.
- A Reference pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound, to look for an ovarian lump.
- A pelvic or abdominal Reference CT scan or Reference MRI, to check for the spread of cancer.
The Reference United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Opens New Window doesn't recommend routine screening for ovarian cancer.Reference 6 There is no proof that having regular tests helps women live longer by finding ovarian cancer early.
Still, some experts recommend that women who have inherited a BRCA gene change and have not had their ovaries removed have a Reference transvaginal ultrasound and a Reference CA-125 blood test at least once a year, starting at age 35. Women who have inherited a BRCA1 gene change (not a BRCA2 gene change) may want to start having these tests as early as age 25.Reference 7
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology