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Diagnosis

Diagnosis

December 15, 2021
Ruchi Garg, MD
Ruchi Garg, MD

Gynecologic Oncology

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When a woman experiences concerning symptoms, a pelvic exam, including a rectal exam and total body physical exam should be performed. Sometimes the exam can be normal, but if the symptoms are suspicious enough, then in these cases, these women should undergo a transnational pelvic ultrasound to evaluate the ovaries, or they may need a CT scan to look for distant disease. Sometimes it may be reasonable to wait two or three weeks to see if the symptoms resolve. A blood test for CA 125 may be performed. CA 125 can be used as a marker to follow ovarian cancer. It is not a screening tool. It is a marker for inflammation, and it can be elevated in about 80% of women with advanced stage ovarian cancer. But it can also be elevated in about 1% of normal women with a variety of reasons, such as fibroids, menses, endometriosis, et cetera. If ovarian cancer is suspected or diagnosed, it is really important to seek care first from a gynecologic oncologist like myself. We are medical doctors with specialized training in treating gynecologic cancers, and we can manage care from diagnosis to the completion of the treatment.