An ovarian cancer assessment is comprised of a laparoscopy, a pelvic examination, blood tests, and imaging tests. The assessment procedure is simple and can be completed within a day at a specialist clinic. Tests that assess ovarian cancer include:
If the above tests fail to rule out or diagnose ovarian cancer, doctors might need to use surgical methods for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Doctors would start by collecting live tissue samples for pathological analysis to identify the type of cells and the stage of the cancer. If the patient is classified as high risk for ovarian cancer, other assessment tests might need to be administered to ascertain the extent of the tumour, including chest and lung X-rays, esophagoscopy and colonoscopy.
Ovarian cancer assessment is also recommended for women with a high risk of developing ovarian cancer but that have not yet presented with cancer symptoms. It is particularly important for women with personal/family history of ovarian cancer to get BRCA tested as early as possible. The test helps to rule out the possibilities of ovarian cancer, identify the risk of developing breast cancer and uterine cancer. BRCA-related mutations are one of the most common hereditary causes that increases risk for ovarian cancer, and can be divided into BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Before considering a BRCA genetic test, you should consult a doctor, who can refer you to an accredited clinical laboratory where your lab results will be examined and explained to you in detail by medical professionals.
Once a BRCA gene mutation is confirmed, the doctor normally advises various preventive methods. For example, in the case of women of 40 years old or above or for women who are post-partum, they may consider the removal of their fallopian tubes and ovaries to reduce the chance of developing ovarian cancer. By taking special hormone therapy that can lower the chance of the cells mutating, and then also undergo periodical ovarian cancer assessments.