Ovarian Cancer Screening
There is no simple and reliable way to screen for ovarian cancer in women who do not have any signs or symptoms.
ScreeningScreening is when a test is used to look for a disease before there are any symptoms. Cancer screening tests are effective when they can detect disease early. Detecting disease early can lead to more effective treatment. Diagnostic tests are used when a person has symptoms. The purpose of diagnostic tests is to find out, or diagnose, what is causing the symptoms. Diagnostic tests also may be used to check a person who is considered at high risk for cancer.
The Pap testPap test does not check for ovarian cancer. The only cancer the Pap test screens for is cervical cancer. Since there is no simple and reliable way to screen for any gynecologic cancers except for cervical cancer, it is especially important to recognize warning signs, and learn what you can do to reduce your risk.
Here is what you can do—
- Pay attention to your body, and know what is normal for you.
- If you notice any changes in your body that are not normal for you and could be a sign of ovarian cancer, talk to your doctor about them and ask about possible causes, such as ovarian cancer.
Ask your doctor if you should have a test, such as a rectovaginal pelvic exam, a transvaginal ultrasound, or a CA-125 blood test if—
- You have any unexplained signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer. These tests sometimes help find or rule out ovarian cancer.
- You have had breast, uterine, or colorectal cancer; or if a close relative has had ovarian cancer.
Read the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation against routine screening for ovarian cancer.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
4770 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30341
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- Contact CDC-INFO