What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer and fallopian tube cancer?
Ovarian and fallopian tube cancers often do not have symptoms in the early stages. Even if symptoms do appear, they can be subtle and usually are believed to be caused by another condition.
If symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Pelvic pain
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- Needing to urinate frequently or feeling urgent needs to urinate
- Bleeding in between menstrual periods or change in menstrual periods
- Back pain
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Change in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea
How are ovarian cancer and fallopian tube cancer diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects you have ovarian or fallopian tube cancer, he or she will conduct a physical exam, which may also include a pelvic exam to check for abnormalities. Your doctor will also ask about your medical history as well as your family medical history.
After the physical exam, your doctor may recommend several imaging tests, including a transvaginal ultrasound and CT scan. Your doctor may also order blood tests to check for elevated levels of the CA-125 protein, which is produced by ovarian cancer.
Minimally invasive techniques may also be used to remove a small piece of tissue. The tissue is sent to a lab to be checked for signs of cancer.
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