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 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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