Ovarian Cancer: Tests After Diagnosis
What tests might I have after being diagnosed?
If initial tests and exams strongly suggest that you have ovarian cancer, you’ll likely
have other tests. These tests help your healthcare providers learn more about your
cancer. They can help show if the cancer has grown into nearby areas or spread to
other parts of your body. The test results help your healthcare providers decide the
best ways to treat the cancer. If you have any questions about these or other tests,
be sure to talk with your healthcare team.
The tests you may have can include:
This test is done to see if the cancer has spread to your lungs.
This test is used to look for cancer throughout your body. Your healthcare provider
puts a small amount of a radioactive sugar into your blood. He or she does this by
putting a needle into one of the veins on your arm or hand. Over about an hour or
so, it’s taken up by active cells in your body that need a lot of energy. This includes
cancer cells. A special camera then scans your body to look for collections of the
sugar. These show up as “hot spots” on the scan. They may be a sign of cancer.
For this test, you’re put into a deep sleep. Your healthcare provider puts a long,
lighted tube into your rectum and colon. Colonoscopy is used to see if cancer has
spread to the colon or rectum, or if the cancer might have started in the colon itself.
You’re put into a deep sleep for this test. Your healthcare provider then makes a
small cut in your abdomen (belly). He or she then puts a long thin tube into the cut.
This tube sends pictures to a computer screen. This lets your healthcare provider
look closely at your ovaries and the inside of your abdomen. In rare cases, your healthcare
provider can use small tools through the tube to take out tissues samples if he or
she sees spots that may be cancer. This test helps your healthcare provider see if
and how far the cancer has spread.
Working with your healthcare provider
Your healthcare provider will talk with you about which tests you'll have. Make sure
to get ready for the tests as instructed. Ask questions and talk about any concerns