Key Messages for Providers

  • Ovarian cancer has non-specific symptoms that are mostly urogynecologic and gastrointestinal.
  • Average-risk patients without risk factors should not get routine screening for ovarian cancer.1
  • Treatment is most effective when ovarian cancer is found early.
  • Oral contraceptive pills have risks and benefits and are not specifically recommended to prevent any cancer; however, their use has been associated with reduced risk of both ovarian and uterine cancer. If a patient needs contraception, discuss all risks and benefits with her.
  • If a patient has suspected or confirmed ovarian cancer, refer her to a gynecologic oncologist.


1Final Update Summary: Ovarian Cancer: Screening.external icon U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. July 2015.

Page last reviewed: September 16, 2015