Ovarian cancer: diagnosis

Any suspicion of ovarian cancer must immediately be investigated.

Ultrasound of the abdomen is the most useful first step to confirm that the suspicious mass is in the ovary, and show any fluid present.

CT or MRI scans will show any malignant spread in the belly. If these are found, scans of the liver, bones and brain may be done as well.

Some tumours of the bowel and breast spread to the ovaries, so these primary tumour sources must be excluded by mammograms, endoscopy or other studies.

Blood tests to measure CA 125 in postmenopausal women is a useful indicator, and can also be used to monitor progress with treatment. A full blood count and liver and kidney function tests are also needed.

Open surgery or laparascopy is done (unless patient circumstances prevent it) to:

- Obtain tissue samples for confirmation
- Remove as much tumour as possible
- Assess spread

Most surgeries will include hysterectomy and tubal removal.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
28% - 9928 votes
No
72% - 25886 votes
Vote