This month as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we spoke with several women on our Real Women Real Stories podcast, both ovarian cancer survivors and allies, about ovarian cancer screenings. What we discovered is that there is currently no effective screening for ovarian cancer. Many women believe that when they get their annual pelvic exam and Pap test, they are getting screened for ovarian cancer, but unfortunately, that is not the case.
While there are diagnostic tests, like a rectovaginal pelvic exam, a transvaginal ultrasound, or a CA-125 blood test which can help find or rule out ovarian cancer, there is no way for you to be screened. None of these procedures would be typical during an annual visit unless a patient was reporting symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Here’s what you can do:
- Pay attention to your body, and know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
- If you notice any changes in your body that are not normal that are persisting and could be a sign of ovarian cancer, talk to your doctor.