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Ovarian Cancer Screening Exams


Ovarian Cancer Screening Exams

At this time, ovarian cancer screening is recommended only for women at increased or high risk. That’s because they have a higher chance of getting the disease. 

Being at increased risk doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get ovarian cancer. But, you may need to start regular screening exams. So if you do get cancer, your doctor finds it at its earliest stage. When found early, the chances for successfully treating the disease are greatest. Along with regular exams, practice awareness. This means you should be familiar with your body. That way you’ll notice changes, like abdominal discomfort or pain. Then, report them to your doctor without delay. 

You should get screened for ovarian cancer if you have ONE of the following: 

  • BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations 
  • Suspected risk of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations 
  • One close relative with ovarian cancer who has a suspected BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation 
  • Lynch Syndrome (Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer) 

If you fall into any of these groups, ask your doctor when to start the screening schedule below: 

  • Transvaginal ultrasound every 6-12 months 
  • CA 125 blood test every 6-12 months 

If you have BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, you should get these exams every 6 months. Talk to your doctor about risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy, or surgery to remove your Fallopian tubes and ovaries. This surgery is strongly recommended for women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations who are finished having children. 

Exams for women who’ve had ovarian cancer 

If you’ve had ovarian cancer, you need a different plan to check for cancer recurrence. Discuss with your doctor. Your doctor can develop a more tailored screening plan for you.