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Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How? Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?

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Unread 05-08-2005, 01:37 PM
Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?

Is ovarian cancer diagnosed before any surgery is done, or is it discovered when a hysterectomy is performed for other "female" problems.

Does the possibility of ovarian cancer manifest itself through PAP smear?

Sorry for the dumb question, I can't seem to be able find this specific answer anywhere. so I figured I'll go to the experts.
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Unread 05-08-2005, 02:09 PM

Karenann's better at this than I am.

NO to the Pap smear. That is for cervical cancer. The only woman I know whose ovarian cancer was picked up by a Pap smear had had it invade the cervix. The Pap smear can't be relied on for ovarian cancer.

The absolute diahnosos and staging is done through surgery. However, there are very potent indicators that cancer can be pregnant. A friend was diagnosed pre-surgery through a pelvic exam, CA125, ultrasound, and CT scan. At that time it was very evident within her and she had three rounds of chemo before debulking. Doctors can learn a lot from these tests and if a diagnosis of suspect ovarian cancer is given, it is imperative that a woman get to a gynecologic oncologist for the surgery.
Unread 05-08-2005, 02:13 PM
Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?

s worrywart2

At least in my case, ovca was strongly suspected prior to surgery. However, a true ovca diagnosis cannot be made without surgery. My indicators were a CT scan, ultrasound and elevated CA125. Plus my abdomen was filled with fluid (ascities).

Unfortunately, ovca cannot be detected via a pap smear. That is one of the reasons that ovca is not detected until an advanced stage, because there is no screening tool yet developed for it.

I will be thinking of you on the 11th. Please come back and post when you feel up to it.

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Unread 05-08-2005, 04:45 PM
Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?

So you are telling me that wothout the surgeric interference ovarian cancer is not detectable?
Unread 05-08-2005, 05:17 PM
Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?

Dear Worrywort2
Ovarian Cancer can be suspected with diagnostic tests like Ellen (Margaret) said. The usual diagnostic screening for ovarian cancer is subtle symptoms (bloating, indigestion, urinary frequency, change in bowel habits, etc). Then diagnostic tests which include a vaginal/recto exam by an experienced doctor (gyn/onc), a transvaginal ultrasound, and a CA125 test. Sometimes a CT of the ABD & Pelvis or a MRI is done. These tests may show an ovarian mass or cyst. A CA125 is not a reliable marker because it can be elevated for many reasons and can be normal even with ovarian cancer.

The results of these tests may lead the doctor to believe you may have ovarian cancer. However, ovarian cancer can never be diagnosed without a biopsy of the ovary (surgery).

Did the doctor mention you might have ovarian cancer?

Unread 05-08-2005, 06:05 PM
Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?

Margaret you are saying that your friend's physician was able to visually, detect the possibility of ovarian cancer?
Unread 05-08-2005, 08:14 PM
Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?


This thread is good timing for me. It seems my body decided giant fibroids and a huge uterus aren't enough. My ultra sound in March 2005 showed two cysts on my left ovary. The ovary measures 4.5x3.3x3.7 cm and contains a cyst measuring 3.1x2.6x2.9 cm. An exophtic smll cyst is also noted projecting, and measuring 0.8x0.8x1.1 cm.

I did not have this cyst on my Jan.2005 MRI. My grandmother had ovarian cancer (at 84 years old) so I don't know how much of a concern this is. The fact that cancer can't seem to be tested for without surgery (for 100% certainty) is a bit worrisome.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? I asked my OBG about the blood test and she said it is so inaccurate as to be worthless. Both she and my surgeon highly suggest that I have a hysterectomy and of course at that time I would have the offending ovary out.

My Interventional Radiologist (I've had one embolization already, bleeding was helped, but size of fibroids remain the same) suggests I try it again with the new Embo-heavy technique. This of course doesn't address the cyst, only the large fibroids.

I have an ultra sound lined up for next month to monitor the cysts. Could they just go away? I hear that happens sometimes.

Anyway, there is a lot of wisdom on this site and I'd sure like to hear your advice.

Unread 05-09-2005, 04:55 AM
I am waiting for my complex cysts to go away too

My gyn feels they might.( I doubt it) but I'm praying so. I had my hyster march '04 and so its been alittl oever a year to datewhen one reamaining ovary displayed these cysts on ultrasound. If I had not insisted ( after feeling pain) they never would have done teh ultrasound.My doctor examined me and sid everything wa fine feb14 and mid april when I presented with pain left side she examined againand felt NOTHING.
Surprise 2 complex cysts and free fluid in pelvic cul de sac.
I am scheduled for repeat ultrasound june 4th.
I am mistrusting atthis point that anyone is really listening to me.
I demended and took a CA125 test which came back at 25 ( fabulous ) in normal range.....BUT we all know its not a dianostic tool.I simply wanted some hope to pass next few weeks till my next ultrasound.
Please have as much pre surgery testing as possible...explore every avenue and also listen to your body and your heart!
Unread 05-09-2005, 08:03 AM
Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?

Sometimes, usually with early stage ovarian cancer, the diagnosis can come as a complete surprise when routine pathology is done on an ovary. The cancer will be encapsulated inside the ovary.
This type patient may be having surgery for another gyn problem and then boom..... learns of ovarian cancer as well.

Even though the ca 125 is not a good diagnostic test, everyone who has surgery for possible ovca, should have one drawn preoperatively.

oxoxo karenann
Unread 05-09-2005, 07:37 PM
Diagnosis for ovarian cancer? How?

Surgery is the most accurate way of diagnosing OVCA.

I had a CT scan and ultrasound which showed a mass, but they couldn't even diagnose whether it originated from the ovary or the bowel until I had the surgery. I presented very few symptoms.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the way OVCA works.

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