Ovarian cancer is a silent killer and kills thousands of innocent women every year. Most early stages of the cancer do not have any symptoms and the ones who get symptoms almost always ignore them as they are very similar to other common ailments of the body. There are many testing methods that can be used for diagnosis of ovarian cancer and if done early, the cancer can be treated with successful results.
All women must be aware of the testing and screening procedures that can be used for diagnosis of ovarian cancer so that they can get tested on time. Even the advanced stages of ovarian cancer are fairly treatable with up to 50-80 percent chances of survival.
6 Testing And Screening Procedures For Ovarian Cancer
Physical Checkup By A Doctor
Regular pelvic examination can detect any suspicious growths in the pelvic region. A doctor will feel the vagina, rectum, cervix and ovaries for abnormal growths and if anything unnatural is detected will refer you for further tests and checkups. Women, especially after menopause must get a pelvic examination annually and rule out any abnormalities in their ovaries. This is the best way to catch ovarian cancer early and undergo treatment.
Scanning Using Ultrasound Waves
An ultrasound scan which uses sound waves to detect any internal abnormalities can be used for checking the presence of ovarian cancer as well. Ultrasounds can detect growths inside the ovaries. However, doing an ultrasound will not help you understand whether the growth is cancerous or non cancerous. For this a blood test will have to be conducted.
CT Or PET Imaging Scans
A CT scan or a computerised Topography is done by taking x-rays to get a cross sectional view of the body. A CT scan will help in identifying big tumours that might have spread to other areas of the body. In a PET or Positive Emission Topography, glucose that is radioactive is used for the procedure. The PET scan produces several pictures of various body parts from which cancerous growths can be identified.
Minimally Invasive Procedure
Laparoscopy can be used as a surgical procedure and also for diagnosis. In laparoscopy, the doctor inserts a probe which has a light to take images of the ovaries, surrounding layer of tissues and also other organs. The images can identify cancerous or malignant growths and also whether the cancer has spread to other organs and areas by checking the images of the surrounding organs and tissues.
The blood test done for testing Ovarian cancer is the CA 125 blood test. CA 125 is a protein that is present in excess in people with ovarian cancer. Undergoing this blood test will help in determining the levels of this protein in the body.
Testing Of Live Tissues
Finally, if the doctor suspects that growths could be cancerous, a biopsy can be done in which the tumour will be removed surgically and sent to the lab for testing for cancerous cells. If the results turn out to be positive, treatment has to be started immediately in order to prevent further spread and growth of ovarian cancer to other parts of the body.