Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer

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The doctor is likely to start with a pelvic examination: The outer part of your genitals is carefully inspected. The doctor then inserts two gloved fingers into the vagina and simultaneously presses a hand on your abdomen to feel your uterus and ovaries. A device (speculum) is inserted into the vagina so that the doctor can visually check for abnormalities. Your doctor also may recommend imaging tests, such as ultrasound or CT scans, of your abdomen and pelvis. These tests can help determine the size, shape and structure of your ovaries. He or she may also recommend a blood test, which can detect a protein (CA125) found on the surface of ovarian cancer cells. Ultimately surgery can be recommended to remove a tissue sample and abdominal fluid to confirm a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Minimally invasive or robotic surgery may be an option. If cancer is discovered, the surgeon may immediately begin surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible.