How Can You Find out If You Have Ovarian Cancer?
It’s crucial to promptly consult a women’s health specialist, or gynecologist, if you are experiencing potential symptoms of ovarian cancer. This may include abdominal bloating and tenderness, back pain, pelvic pain, indigestion, changes in bowel or urinary habits or abnormal menstrual cycles. Ovarian cancer typically does not produce obvious symptoms in its early stages, so it’s important to be mindful of subtle changes in your body. The sooner an ovarian cancer diagnosis is made, the better your chances are of experiencing a positive outcome and improved quality of life.
Ovarian cancer diagnosis
The first step of making an ovarian cancer diagnosis is usually to perform an imaging test. If there is reason to believe you are at risk of ovarian cancer, your gynecologist will likely order an ultrasound to get a better view of your pelvic region and see if any tumors are displaying malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous) characteristics. Additional imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, may be performed to see if nearby organs or lymph nodes are affected in the event that a tumor appears cancerous, as well as blood work to test for high levels of certain tumor markers.
When imaging and blood tests suggest that cancer is present, the next step is to perform a biopsy. This is the only way to make a conclusive ovarian cancer diagnosis. A biopsy involves surgically removing the tumor and examining its cells under a microscope in a lab.
What to do after an ovarian cancer diagnosis
Finding an experienced oncologist is key following a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. That’s one of the reasons why women throughout the country choose to visit Moffitt Cancer Center for comprehensive ovarian cancer treatment and supportive care. The multispecialty team at Moffitt’s gynecological clinic possesses a unique level of experience addressing even the most complex ovarian malignancies and utilize the latest advances in treatment. We also provide genetic testing and counseling to women who would like to learn more about their individual risks.
Contact Moffitt at 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online if you would like to consult a Moffitt oncologist about an ovarian cancer diagnosis. We welcome patients with or without referrals.