The ovaries are two female reproductive glands that produce eggs and the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the ovaries multiply without control and form a malignant tumor. The condition have vague symptoms in its early stages but as like most cancers, early detection is key. It is most often associated with fallopian tube cancer as both conditions exhibit similar symptoms.
Pain with intercourse
Swelling in the pelvis or abdomen
Blood tests may be carried out to check for CA125, a tumor marker for ovarian cancer. A raised level of CA125 may point to the presence of ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer. However, the test results may not be absolute as the tumor marker may also be present in benign conditions such as fibroids or pregnancy.
Imaging tests such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan may be conducted to check for the status or progression of the cancer and if it has metastasized.
A pelvic examination may be conducted to feel for lumps or tender areas that may possibly point to the presence of a tumor. The examination will also check for unusual swelling in the reproductive system.