Sometimes ovarian cancer can cause fluid to build up in different parts of the body.
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This is when fluid collects in the abdomen. It causes swelling and pressure, which can be uncomfortable and make you feel breathless. If you have ascites, your doctor may inject a local anaesthetic into the abdomen and then insert a needle to take a sample of the fluid. This is called a paracentesis or ascitic tap.
The fluid sample is sent to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope for cancer cells.
Sometimes, to make you feel more comfortable, the doctor will remove the remaining fluid from your abdomen. It will take a few hours for all the fluid to drain into a drainage bag.
This is when fluid builds up in the area between the lung and the chest wall (pleural space). It can cause pain and breathlessness. The fluid can be drained using a procedure called a thoracentesis or pleural tap. Your doctor will inject a local anaesthetic into the chest area, and then insert a needle into the pleural space to drain the fluid.
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A/Prof Sam Saidi, Senior Staff Specialist, Gynaecological Oncology, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; A/Prof Penny Blomfield, Gynaecological Oncologist, Hobart Women’s Specialists, and Chair, Australian Society of Gynaecologic Oncologists, TAS; Dr Robyn Cheuk, Senior Radiation Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Kim Hobbs, Clinical Specialist Social Worker, Gynaecological Cancer, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Sonja Kingston, Consumer; Clinical A/Prof Judy Kirk, Head, Familial Cancer Service, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Westmead Hospital, and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, NSW; Prof Linda Mileshkin, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Researcher, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Support Team, Ovarian Cancer Australia; Emily Stevens, Gynaecology Oncology Nurse Coordinator, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Dr Amy Vassallo, Fussell Family Foundation Research Fellow, Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Merran Williams, Consumer.
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