In the developed world, ovarian cancer is regarded as a leading cause of deaths related to gynecological cancer as it is generally diagnosed in the late stages. As a matter of fact, only approximately 20% of ovarian tumors are detected at an early stage due to the absence of symptoms (American Cancer Society, 2018). At the same time, the common symptoms of ovarian cancer may be caused by other non-serious conditions, and by the time a tumor is defined as “a possible cause of these symptoms, it usually has already spread” (American Cancer Society, 2018, p. 2). That is why there are several practices that should be applied to detect an ovarian tumor and prevent its subsequent development.
First of all, any symptom should not be ignored as “prompt attention to symptoms may improve the odds of early diagnosis and successful treatment” (American Cancer Society, 2018, p. 2). If a woman has symptoms similar to the symptoms of the ovarian tumor’s development on a daily basis for more than several weeks, she should report them to her health care professional. In addition, regular women’s health exams frequently help to detect various female conditions and an early ovarian tumor as well regardless of the fact that it may be difficult to feel. During pelvic exams, health care providers feel the uterus and ovaries for shape, size, and consistency. Finally, two screening tests were developed and are currently used to detect a tumor when a patient does not have any symptoms – transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and the CA-125 blood test (American Cancer Society, 2018). TVUS uses sound waves to examine the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries through an ultrasound wand put into the vagina. In turn, the CA-125 blood test measures the level of protein in the blood that increases in patients with an ovarian tumor.
American Cancer Society. (2018). [PDF document]. Web.