Ovarian Cancer Screening – Women’s OBGyn
The purpose of the review is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually given to people with no current symptoms but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
Screening tests are designed to detect patients with early cancer or patients who are at high risk. When you are going to have a screening procedure, be sure to tell the person who will review it if you have any high risk factors, especially a family history.
Pelvic Exam – Your annual review includes a Pap smear for cervical cancer and a pelvic exam for other female disorders, including ovarian cancer. If you have a history of breast cancer or a mother or sister with ovarian cancer, make sure your health care professional is aware of your increased risk. If he can not perform a pelvic exam satisfactorily (due to his weight, anatomy, or discomfort), it may be worth an ultrasound.
Ultrasound – This procedure is not recommended as a routine review exam but could be used as the next step if you are at high risk for ovarian cancer.
Blood tests – CA-125 is a substance found in high levels in many women with ovarian cancer.However, it is also elevated in women without cancer and is not elevated in all women who have ovarian cancer, so it is not a very good test to check on all women. Your health care professional may order this test if you are at high risk for ovarian cancer. Because there may be an association between breast cancer and ovarian cancer, your doctor may also recommend screening for genetic predisposition to breast cancer.
Because of the low rate of early diagnosis, much research is under way to identify a review exam that meets the requirements for ease, safety, cost, and accuracy. Until then, undergo a pelvic exam annually, and ask your doctor if you have any risk factors that could require an ultrasound. Currently, most insurers will not cover ovarian cancer screening exams, including a periodic level of CA-125 or a transvaginal ultrasound. You may have to pay for this yourself or rely on reporting any new symptoms to your obgyn in fairfax as soon as possible to perform these tests.