How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

Tissue examination. Symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague and physical examination may reveal a mass. There are many causes of a mass in the ovary and once a diagnosis is suspected, it requires removal of tissue and examination by a pathologist for definitive diagnosis. See this site for more info http://www.Cancer.Org/cancer/ovariancancer/detailedguide/ovarian-cancer-diagnosis.
Biopsy. (see similar question/answer). Most (all?) cancers need a biopsy to be definitively diagnosed. Tests such as imaging (eg, pelvic ultrasound) or laboratory tests (eg, ca-125) may be suspicious for ovarian cancer, but a biopsy and pathology study needs to be done.

Related Questions

How can my doctor diagnose ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer test. The best initial test for someone with symptoms of ovarian cancer (bloating, gastrointestinal changes, abdominal pain, urinary symptoms) is a transvaginal pelvic ultrasound. This test can alert the doctor to the possibility of ovarian cancer. However, the only definitive way to make a diagnosis is with surgery. There is no effective screening test yet for women without symptoms. Read more...
Ovarian Cancer . Your gynecologist can perform a simple pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound, other radiologic imaging studies, lab tests, such as ca-125, pap smear, and other diagnostic studies to rule in or out the presence of an early cancer. If you are at all concerned, you should make an appointment and discuss options with your doctor. Read more...
Ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is best diagnosed at the time of surgery by a gynecologic oncologist. A patient suspected of having ovarian cancer is sent to a gyn oncologist. Ovarian cancer is diagnosed by a pathological examination at the time of surgery. The goal of the surgery is to remove all lumps and bumps of disease. Chemotherapy is given if needed. Read more...

What tests can diagnose ovarian cancer?

Biopsy. While imaging (eg, pelvic ultrasound) or laboratory tests (eg, ca-125) may be suspicious for ovarian cancer, only a biopsy can definitively diagnosis ovarian cancer. Read more...
CA-125 , ultrasound. Routine screening is not recommended on people with average risk. Family history is a strong risk factor. In these patients ca-125 (it is a tumor marker checked in blood) also transvaginal ultrasound can help early diagnosis. Read more...

Is there a way that doctors diagnose ovarian cancer?

Yes. Biopsy. . Doctors look for ovarian cancer with tests such as pelvic exams, ultrasounds, or a blood test called ca-125. Unfortunately, though, these tests can miss cancers or be positive when there actually is no cancer (false positive). The final diagnosis, then, needs to be made by looking at pieces of the ovary in question under a microscope - this is called a biopsy. Read more...

Can an xray diagnose ovarian cancer?

No. Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose. An X-Ray isn't sensitive enough. Ultrasound, CT and MRI are the modalities that are usually used. Sometimes it is only diagnosed at the time of surgery. Best wishes! Read more...

Should a GYN do a biopsy to diagnose endometriosis? My Dr didn't do a biopsy and I'm concerned my symptoms are ovarian cancer.

Clarify plan. In order to do a biopsy to confirm Endometriosis your doctor will need to perform a surgery to allow entry into your abdominal cavity. This is called a laparoscopy. An endometrial biopsy can be done in the office but this samples the lining of the uterus and is not form endometriosis. If you are concerned about ovarian cancer then please see an Obgyn to clarify the symptoms and the evaluation plan. Read more...

If my mother had ovarian cancer when she conceived me is there a chance she could of passed on to me without doctors being able to diagnose me?

NO. But you may have slightly higher incidence compared to normal population, some rare ovarian cancers are genetically inherited you need to see your gyn doctor regularly. Read more...