Could the transvaginal ultrasound not catch ovarian cancer on time before it spreads to other organs?

Ovarian Cancer. Ultrasound imaging is at best a crude screening tool to detect micrometastases, and while it is excellent for detecting sizable masses, it cannot see tiny nests of tumor cells that might have spread beyond the ovary into the pelvis or abdomen. More sophisticated imaging studies, such as MRI and ct scans, combined with diagnostic sampling of tissues and fluids, are better at detecting cancer spread.
Possibly. The transvaginal ultrasound (u/s) is arguably the best screening tool for ovarian cancer (oca) but certainly the quality of the u/s and the state of the oca when it was discovered can affect the value of the early diagnosis. A recent study comparing the survival of persons whose oca was detected by u/s to those diagnosed by other means showed significant increased survival in the u/s group.

Related Questions

Does this mean that the transvaginal ultrasound does not catch ovarian cancer on time before it spreads?

Yes. There are no good screening tests for ovarian cancer! The best tests we have for patients with a high risk for ovarian cancer is an ultrasound and a blood test called ca125. However, even doing these 2 tests every 6 months, we will still miss the majority of cancers. We need better blood tests.
Only a small. Percentage of ovarian cancers are found by accident on ultrasound before they spread outside of the ovary.

Can transvaginal ultrasound be used for early detection of ovarian cancer?

Sometimes. It is not a good screening test for the average woman. However, some centers recommend aggressive screening for women with significant family history of ovarian cancer or genetic related issues. In those few cases, screening with vaginal ultrasound and ca-125 blood tests may be helpful. (but unfortunately, these tests are no where near as sensitive as colonoscopy screening for colorectal polyps.
Yes. It can be used for early detection, but sometimes finds things that are not cancerous, or even dangerous. This can lead to more, and sometimes more invasive, testing.
Not recommended. In 2012, the uspstf reaffirmed it's recommendation against screening for ovarian cancer with blood testing or ultrasound as neither have been shown in studies to reduce the number of ovarian cancer deaths. In fact, screening leads to important harms in women who undergo unnecessary surgical procedures for benign findings. Us can identify suspicious ovarian masses in symptomatic women.

How accurate is the transabdomen and transvaginal ultrasound for early detection of ovarian cancer?

Not very. Unfortunately, there is no good screening for ovarian cancer. Ultrasound will show a mass if there is one and may help characterize it as likely benign or malignant. This, with blood test and recognizing symptoms, might help with managment of a mass that is already there, but not in early detection. Notify your doctor if you have persistent bloating, change in bowel or bladder habits, or pain.
Quite accurate. In patients with strong family history of ovarian ca, screening with ultrasound and blood test is indicated since it's difficult to pick up early ovarian cancer. The ultrasound can differentiate between a simple cyst or a complex cyst (mixed cystic and solid structure) which may warrant further testing and treatment. It can also evaluate the size and grow of the cyst.

Would an ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound still miss signs of ovarian cancer?

Unfortunately Yes. Us cannot DX ovarian cancer, simply show signs which may be associated with it. Us may show thickened cyst walls, nodules, septations, or abnormal blood vessels. However, even with tumor markers, ovarian cancer remains a tissue diagnosis & a biopsy/surgery is needed for diagnosis. Even with today's technology, we do not have reliable tests to catch early ovarian cancer. D/w md if you have risks.
Yes. Almost all test and imaging studies have false positive and false negative results. Early ovarian cancer is particularly difficult to detect as the normal ovary often has cystic changes and varies in size during the reproductive period. Having said that, transvaginal ultrasound is a useful and perhaps the best test for detecting ovarian cancer.

I have pubic bone pain and urinary frequency. Doctor ordered a transvaginal ultrasound that came back clear. Could it be ovarian cancer? (age28, brca)

Probably not. It is very unlikely to have ovarian cancer at 28yo. A negative ultrasound doesn't necessarily rule it out but is a good indicator that the ovaries are ok at this time. If you are brca positive, then you should have an ultrasound and ca125 test every 6 months which may help a little but even better is to remove ovaries once you have completed your family.

Does a normal transvaginal ultrasound result rule out ovarian cancer? I have PCOS and terrible gas and bloating, aunt had ovarian cancer last year

US is good test. The transvaginal US is a good test for looking at the ovaries. If there were a mass there they should be able to see it on the US. If you have ovarian cancer in your family and you are concerned, you could ask your doctor to order a CA-125 blood test. This test is elevated in ovarian cancer.