An ovarian cancer diagnosis is usually made after scans and blood tests. Here is a brief overview of the process as well as a list of ovarian cancer symptoms.

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Abdominal pain, bloating and tiredness are very common symptoms of ovarian cancer. Digestive problems can also indicate the presence of ovarian cancer and these include diarrhea, constipation, vomiting and nausea. Some patients say they feel very full, have a loss of appetite and cannot eat very much. Painful sex, dizziness and sometimes heavy periods or bleeding between periods is reported.

The first step would be to see your medical practitioner, who will examine you and may organize some tests, usually ultrasound scans as well as blood tests. If your medical practitioner thinks you could have ovarian cancer then they will refer you to be seen by a specialist gynecology cancer team for further tests and specialist advice and treatment.

There are various tests used in ovarian cancer diagnosis:

An ultrasound scan is a quick, painless test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your abdomen, liver and pelvis.

The computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans both use a computer to develop detailed, three-dimensional images of the inside of the body.

Abdominal fluid or chest fluid aspiration is when a sample of fluid is taken from the abdomen or chest area to test for any cancer cells.

A laparoscopy is a small operation in which doctors look at the ovaries, fallopian tubes, womb and surrounding areas with a thin tube called a laparoscope.

The laparotomy is an operation that involves creating an incision in the abdomen.

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