How To Detect Ovarian Cancer?

How To Detect Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer occurs when cells in the ovaries start to develop out of control. These cells may also invade nearby tissue or spread throughout the body wherein it becomes a tumor. Some of these tumors are not cancer because they can’t spread to other parts of the body. The tumors that can spread through the body or invade nearby tissues are called malignant tumors. Several ovarian tumors are benign. 

Cancers are defined by the cells from which they originally form:

  • Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: This is the most common type of ovarian cancer that comes from cells that lie on the surface of the ovary called epithelial cells. 
  • Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer: This starts in the ovarian cells that produce eggs. This type of cancer is more likely to affect younger women. 
  • Stromal Ovarian Cancer: This develops from the cells in the ovary that hold the ovary together and create hormones. These tumors makes symptoms by having too many female hormones. 

Each of these types of ovarian cancer has many subtypes of cancer-based on how the cells look under a microscope. 

Detecting Ovarian Cancer 

While women of any age may develop ovarian cancer, it is most commonly diagnosed in postmenopausal women between ages 55 and 64. Finding the right treatment plan starts with an accurate diagnosis.

  • Pelvic Exam

This test may include both a visual and a physical assessment of internal sexual organs. The doctor feels for an enlarged ovary and any signs of fluid in the abdomen as part of a regular pelvic exam. It is rare to detect ovarian cancer through pelvic exams alone. Other diagnostic tests may be needed such as:

Transvaginal Ultrasound

1. Imaging Tests

  • Transvaginal Ultrasound: This is typically the first type of imaging test used if there are any issues with the ovaries. Transvaginal ultrasound helps the doctor see what exactly your ovaries look like. It also helps detect abnormalities such as an ovarian tumor. 
  • Ovarian Biopsy: To test for ovarian cancer, and ovarian biopsy is needed. At times, the whole tumor might be surgically removed and tested. 
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: In some cases, after conducting a physical exam and an ultrasound, doctors may use a CT scan to detect tumor size and reveal whether cancer has already spread to other organs. 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI is frequently used along with other tests as part of the diagnostic evaluation process. MRI helps identify areas of the brain and spinal cord where advanced cancer has spread, this imaging test is rarely used to detect ovarian cancer. 
  • Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (PET/CT) Scan: This measures the ability of the tumor to use glucose. This technology is sometimes used to help diagnose ovarian, fallopian tubes, or peritoneal cancer. This may indicate the presence of cancer before it’s detected by other means.

2. Lab Tests 

  • Blood Tests: Your health care provider will likely perform standard blood tests to assess your red and white blood cell levels, as well as your platelet count. These blood tests also measure your kidney and liver function and help gauge your overall health. 
  • Genetic Testing: This test is recommended if ovarian cancer is diagnosed. Genetic testing is used to determine whether the patient has inherited genes or gene mutations linked to ovarian cancer. 

About Edward Mallorca

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How To Detect Ovarian Cancer?