Ovarian cancer diagnosis
If your doctor suspects you have ovarian cancer, they will usually start with a pelvic examination, then order some of the tests and scans described in this section. To confirm the diagnosis, tissue from the tumour needs to be checked under a microscope. This tissue can be obtained with a biopsy (piece of tissue or fluid sample from the abdomen) or at the time of surgery.
Sometimes ovarian cancer is diagnosed before it causes symptoms. This is usually when abnormalities are found during tests or procedures for another health condition.
Many people feel understandably shocked and upset when told they have ovarian cancer. If you need support, call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
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I went in to have minor surgery. Afterwards the doctor said, ‘I’m sorry, but it looks like ovarian cancer’. It certainly changed my life.Louisa
Podcast: Tests and Cancer
Dr Nisha Jagasia, Gynaecological Oncologist, Mater Hospital Brisbane, QLD; Sue Hayes, Consumer; Bronwyn Jennings, Gynaecology Oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mater Health, QLD; Dr Andrew Lee, Radiation Oncologist, Canberra Region Cancer Centre and Canberra Hospital, ACT; A/Prof Tarek Meniawy, Medical Oncologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Caitriona Nienaber, Cancer Council WA; Jane Power, Consumer; A/Prof Sam Saidi, Senior Staff Specialist, Gynaecological Oncology, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW
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