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Preventative Surgery for Ovarian Epithelial Cancer

Some women who have an increased risk of ovarian cancer may choose to have a prophylactic oophorectomy (the removal of healthy ovaries so that cancer cannot grow in them). However, it is not known if this procedure prevents ovarian cancer.
 

Symptoms of Ovarian Epithelial Cancer

Early ovarian cancer may not cause any symptoms. As a result, when symptoms do appear, the cancer is often advanced. Symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:
 
  • Pain or swelling in the abdomen
  • Pain in the pelvis
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as gas, bloating, or constipation.
 
It is important to note that these symptoms may be caused by other conditions and not by ovarian epithelial cancer. If the symptoms get worse or do not go away on their own, a doctor should be consulted so that any problem can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. When found in its early stages, ovarian epithelial cancer can often be cured.
 

Diagnosing Ovarian Epithelial Cancer

Tests that examine the ovaries, pelvic area, blood, and ovarian tissue are used to detect (find) and diagnose ovarian epithelial cancer.
 
Tests and procedures that may be used include:
 
  • Pelvic exam
  • Ultrasound
  • CA 125 assay
  • Barium enema
  • Intravenous pyelogram
  • Computed tomography scan
  • Biopsy
  • Surgery (laparotomy).
 

Treatment for Ovarian Epithelial Cancer

Different types of ovarian cancer treatment are available. While some treatments are standard (meaning they are the currently used treatments), others are being tested in clinical trials.
 
These treatment options include:
 
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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