Every woman must be aware about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Though the survival rate of ovarian cancer stands at 93% in the early stages, more than 15,000 women die due to late diagnosis and inability to segregate the symptoms early enough and seek medical help.
There are many competent diagnostic procedures that are minimally invasive and help you get treatment early on.Discussed below are the various methods of diagnosis for ovarian cancer. This will help the patient get diagnosed in the first stage itself .This will also prevent ovarian cancer from occurring as you would know that you are susceptible and take precautionary measures.
Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis Process
In your first visit, the doctor may ask about your family history. If close family members have consistently had ovarian or breast cancer, there is a chance that you have inherited the genes from your parents. This puts you in the high risk category and you must be ever vigilant in such case for even mlid changes in the body.
Pelvic examination scheduled annually or as per the guidance of the doctor, if you are in the high risk category will help the doctor keep track of your health. Regular pelvic examination can help the doctors detect swellings, lumps, fluid build up and growths by feeling your pelvic region. Combined with other symptoms like a pelvic, back or abdominal pain and bleeding, he/she will be able to make an initial diagnosis.
There are many imaging technologies like a CT scan, X-Ray or an Ultrasound scan that can help in the detection of growths in the ovaries. If the doctor suspects that you need a detailed imaging scan for diagnosis, he/she will suggest either of the two methods based on the severity. An ultrasound can only detect growths, but a CT scan can diagnose whether the growth is malignant or benign. As CT scans would are more hazardous than an ultrasound, your health will be taken into consideration while suggesting the imaging technology to be used.
Blood tests like CA-125 can identify the CA 125 protein in the blood which will be present in excess in ovarian cancer patients. Taking this test will help the doctor make an overall diagnosis of your condition. However, blood test alone cannot be used for diagnosis.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure like a laparoscopy too is used for the diagnosis procedure. In a laparoscopy, a laparoscope which has a light and a camera is inserted through an abdominal incision and images checked for the tumour growth. A laparoscopic procedure is good in that the doctor can surgically remove the entre tumour during the diagnosis itself.
The tumour is then sent for a biopsy which is the final stage of confirming ovarian cancer. The pathology report will have all details like the stage, extent of spread etc. which will be used as guidance for the doctor to chart your treatment plan.
Early stages of ovarian cancer has a good chance of complete recovery and the treatment methods are non invasive as well.
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