5 Useful Ovarian Cancer Tests

Posted by Cancer Care on Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ovarian cancer is contracted by around 7,000 women in the UK each year. It generally affects older women and develops when the cells of the ovary start to grow in a rapid and out of control way. There are a number of symptoms associated with ovarian cancer including a bloated stomach, irregular periods and abdominal pain. If you notice any of these symptoms then you should go see your doctor right away. They will then be able to perform the necessary tests. In this article I will be discussing five of these tests.
  1. PHYSICAL EXAM:The first ovarian cancer test your doctor will recommend is a physical exam.
  2. BLOOD TEST:Certain types of ovarian cancer produce a protein called CA125. Therefore, a blood test that reveals higher than normal levels of this protein may be an indicator for this type of cancer. However, there are other conditions such pelvic inflammatory disease that can cause blood levels of CA125 to be elevated so whilst this test can indicate ovary cancer it is not a certainty.
  3. ULTRASOUND SCAN:This test involves using sound waves to build an image of your ovaries. This image can then be investigated to see if your ovaries look normal. It can also reveal whether any lumps found are fluid or solid.
  4. LAPAROSCOPY:This ovarian cancer test involves a small incision being made in the abdominal wall whilst you are under general anaesthetic. Your doctor can then look at this image for any abnormalities which could potentially be cancerous. Most laparoscopes can also be used to take a tissue sample and these tissues can then be tested in a laboratory to see if they are cancerous.
  5. ABDOMINAL FLUID ASPIRATION:A swollen stomach is a potential sign of ovary cancer. If your stomach does become swollen then this fluid will need to be removed. To do this your doctor will give you a local anaesthetic, insert a long, thin needle in to your abdomen and drain the fluid in to a container. This fluid can then be examined in the laboratory for the presence of cancer cells.
I hope this article has given you a greater understanding of the possible tests for ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a very serious, life threatening condition and you should discuss any concerns, treatments or lifestyle changes fully with your doctor.
Source by ezinearticles.com

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