You must have heard about the Pap smear test or the Pap test from women and how it helps them keep a check on their health and wellness regarding the reproductive system. A Pap test is a great tool, but does it detect ovarian cancer too? No, it does not.
What Does Pap Smear Test Detect?
A pap test is a good way to keep a wellness check; however, it does not detect ovarian cancer. It functions to indicate cervical cancer or pre-cancerous conditions.
How To Screen For An Ovarian Cancer?
Screening tests and exams detect diseases, such as cancer, in those who do not present with any symptoms. For example, breast cancer is detected using a mammogram way before it shows up visibly.
Researchers have done extensive work to develop a proper screening test for ovarian cancer; however, there has not been much luck.
Still, these 2 tests are widely used and accepted along with a complete pelvic exam to screen successfully for ovarian cancer.
Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVUS)
TVUS is an ultrasonic test that uses sound waves to make images of the female reproductive, like the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, by putting a wand into the vagina. It can tell where the mass is; however, it does not tell whether the cancer is benign or malignant.
CA-125 Blood Test
The purpose of the CA-125 blood test is to check the levels of a protein called CA-125 in the blood. Elevated readings are the marker of ovarian cancer in women.
However, using this test as a screening tool for ovarian cancer has limitations. The challenge lies in the fact that high CA-125 levels can also be caused by conditions such as endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Other than that, not every woman with ovarian cancer will exhibit high CA-125 levels. When an individual without a known ovarian cancer diagnosis shows an abnormal CA-125 result, the doctor may repeat the test to ensure accuracy and consider additional tests like a transvaginal ultrasound.
Why Is It Necessary to be Treated by a Gynecologic Oncologist?
It is very important to take shelter from a gynecologic oncologist for treatment. Medical research says there are significant chances of survival for women who are treated and operated on by them.
You can get in touch with the professionals from Family Diagnostic Clinic. We are located at 27721 Tomball Parkway, Ste #200, Tomball, TX 77377, and 13688 Breton Ridge Unit G, Houston, TX 77070. Call now at 281-351-6800 to connect with us.