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Cancer screening guidelines
 

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which cancer cells develop in the tissue covering the ovaries. Most ovarian cancers are either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (cancer that begins in cells that line the ovary) or malignant germ cell tumors (cancer that begins in egg cells).

Risk Factors

  • Family history of ovarian cancer
  • Possibly - use of fertility drugs
  • Advancing age
  • Never having carried a pregnancy
  • North American or Northern European descent
  • Personal history of endometrial, colon, or breast cancer
Signs/Symptoms of ovarian cancer include the following:
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Vague, but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas, nausea, and indigestion
  • Frequency and/or urgency of urination in absence of an infection
  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss, particularly weight gain in the abdominal region
Tests that may help diagnosis ovarian cancer include:
  • Pelvic exam
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen/pelvis
  • Ca-125 blood test
  • CT scan of the abdomen
  • Biopsy of the ovary