With an increasing awareness for cancer, its early detection and prompt management, women have started having screening tests to detect the development or presence of ovarian cancer.
Two screening tests are available for women who are at risk for ovarian cancer. These are: the trans-vaginal USG and measuring levels of CA-125 levels in the blood.
Ovarian Cancer Screening Blood Test
- In this procedure, the serum levels of CA-125 are assessed. CA-125 is a tumor marker, i.e., it tells you about the development of the disease. Levels of the tumor marker rise when there is ovary cancer.
- However, some tumors do not produce elevated levels of CA-125 levels; also, certain benign tumors cause the level of CA-125 to get elevated.
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Ovarian Cancer Screening Guidelines And Technique
- During the annual checkup and examination, physicians carry out a pelvic examination to rule out the presence of cancer. Pelvic exams occasionally help identify ovarian cancers, but, sometimes, the cancer is detected when it is in an advanced state and difficult to treat.
- As a result, pelvic examinations are not very efficient to detect ovarian cancer. But, they do help the doctor conduct a pap smear.
- The trans-vaginal ultrasound with color Doppler is another technique to screen ovary cancer. The physician will introduce a tiny probe that generates sound-waves in the vagina. An image is produced due to these waves, and can be seen on the computer screen. This helps the doctor see every detail about the flow of blood in the ovaries.
Also see Atypical Pap Smear