Ricker Polsdorfer, MD
usually produces no symptoms until it is in an advanced stage. Very few women have it detected early on a routine pelvic exam or because it produced a symptom.
At your annual checkup and
or when you have symptoms, you will be asked about your medical history. A physical exam will be done. It will include a pelvic exam.
Tests may include:
If the pelvic exam reveals abnormalities, or you have worrisome complaints, further tests may include:
If cancer is found, the prognosis and treatment depend on the location, size, and stage of the cancer, as well as your general health.
Staging is a careful attempt to determine whether the cancer has spread and, if it has, what body parts are affected.
Additional tests to determine staging may include:
The following stages are used to classify cancer of the ovary:
Beyond staging, a pathologist looks at the tumor through a microscope. The appearance of the cancer cells gives a good idea of how aggressive the cancer is. Grading the cancer adds to the staging information to help determine how best to treat you.
Detailed guide: ovarian cancer. American Cancer Society
website. Available at:
Accessed January 6, 2014.
Ovarian cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 31, 2013. Accessed January 6, 2014.
Ovarian cancer. National Cancer Institute
website. Available at:
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/ovarian. Accessed January 6, 2014.
9/18/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance
FDA clears a test for ovarian cancer. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at:
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm182057.htm. Published September 11, 2009. Accessed January 6, 2014.
Last reviewed December 2014 by Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
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