Ovarian Cancer Detection
My CA-125 Test Came Back High -- Now What?
If your CA-125 test comes back high, you'll need an appointment with your doctor to discuss the results. If you haven't had a transvaginal ultrasound yet, that will typically be the next step. A transvaginal ultrasound is just an ultrasound performed using a small wand that is gently inserted into the vagina (this is the same type of ultrasound done in early pregnancy, before a baby is big enough to be seen with the traditional "belly" ultrasound).
In many cases, CA-125 testing produces false positives, and your ultrasound may show that there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes, a computed tomography (CT) scan may be done in addition to a transvaginal ultrasound.
Accidental Ovarian Cancer Detection
Because the early symptoms of ovarian cancer are so vague, sometimes the cancer is detected by accident, often during an ultrasound for a different reason, such as during a pregnancy. Ovarian cancer is sometimes discovered during a cesarean section (C-section) as well. While receiving a cancer diagnosis during pregnancy or right after having your baby may seem unfathomably cruel and unfair, the good news is that, in many cases, the cancers are caught in the very early stages and are treated quite successfully. Typically, the pregnancy continues as normal and results in a healthy baby.
Ovarian cancer is sometimes also detected accidentally during other abdominal surgeries or during CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) performed for other reasons.