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Ovarian Cancer Testing – What to Expect

In Queensland, ovarian cancer claims the lives of over 200 women each year. While early detection significantly improves survival rates, navigating the diagnostic process can feel overwhelming. Lions Medical Research Foundation, dedicated to Queensland’s medical research, strives to empower women with knowledge. So, let’s shed some light on what to expect during ovarian cancer diagnostic testing.

Early Signs and Initial Steps

Ovarian cancer symptoms are often subtle and can mimic other conditions. Persistent bloating, pelvic pain, changes in urination or bowel habits, and unusual fatigue could be red flags. If you experience these, a pelvic exam is the first step. During this routine check-up, your doctor will feel your ovaries and uterus for abnormalities.

Screening and Additional Tests

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive screening test for ovarian cancer. However, two tests are commonly used to assess potential risk:

  • Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVUS): This painless procedure uses sound waves to create images of your pelvic organs. While it can’t diagnose cancer, it can detect masses that warrant further investigation.
  • CA-125 Blood Test: This test measures a protein called CA-125, elevated levels of which may indicate ovarian cancer. However, a high CA-125 can also occur with other conditions, so it’s not diagnostic on its own.

Biopsy – Confirming the Diagnosis

If tests raise concerns, a biopsy is crucial for a definitive diagnosis. This involves removing a tissue sample from the ovaries, usually during surgery. There are different biopsy techniques, and your doctor will discuss the most appropriate one based on your situation.

Understanding the Results

After the biopsy, a pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope. If cancer is confirmed, further tests determine the type, stage, and spread of the disease. This information guides treatment decisions.

Remember, You’re Not Alone

Navigating ovarian cancer diagnostics can be emotionally challenging. Talking to your doctor openly and seeking support from loved ones, patient advocacy groups, or mental health professionals are crucial.

Lions Medical Research Foundation – Making a Difference

Lions Medical Research Foundation plays a vital role by funding research that improves ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment. By supporting their efforts, you contribute to saving lives. Consider donating to empower research against this silent killer. Please Donate Now.

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