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Screening for , ovarian and primary peritoneal cancer

Experts do not recommend screening healthy women at average risk for ovarian,  or primary peritoneal cancer. Even in high-risk women, screening for these cancers is not reliable and has not been shown to improve cancer outcomes. It is important for women who are at high risk to discuss the benefits and limitations of ovarian cancer screening with their doctor. 

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

All women should be educated on the possible signs of ovarian cancer and report persistent symptoms to their doctor, including: 

  • Bloating 
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain 
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly 
  • Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)

Types of screening

Screening for , ovarian and primary peritoneal cancer usually includes a combination of the following:

  • A pelvic exam is an internal vaginal exam by a health care provider to look and feel for abnormalities of the reproductive system. 
  • Transvaginal  involves an device inserted into the vagina, which uses sound waves to look for any abnormal changes in the ovary. 
  • CA125 is a protein in the blood that is sometimes elevated in women with ovarian cancer. The test is considered neither sensitive nor specific for finding ovarian cancers in high-risk women. 

Screening for average risk people

Experts do not recommend routine screening for women at average risk of , primary peritoneal or ovarian cancer.

Last updated October 09, 2020