Tests for ovarian cancer

You might have one or more of these tests to find out the cause of your symptoms. Or to find out the size of your cancer and whether it has spread. This tells you the stage of your cancer.

Knowing the stage helps your doctor decide which treatment you need. Sometimes it isn't possible to diagnose or stage ovarian cancer for certain until you have an operation. 

Blood tests for ovarian cancer

You usually have blood tests if you have symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Ultrasound scan for ovarian cancer

You might have a pelvic or vaginal ultrasound scan if you have symptoms of ovarian cancer. 

CT scan for ovarian cancer

A CT scan is a test that uses x-rays and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside of your body. 

Chest x-ray for ovarian cancer

A chest x-ray checks for signs of cancer in your chest, and also checks your general fitness before treatment.

Image guided biopsy for ovarian cancer

The doctor takes tissue samples (biopsies) using a scan to guide where to put the needle.

Laparoscopy for ovarian cancer

Laparoscopy is a small operation to look inside your tummy (abdomen) to see if ovarian cancer has spread. You have a small cut in your abdomen.

Laparotomy for ovarian cancer

A laparotomy is an operation to look inside your abdomen and pelvis to see if cancer has spread. You have a large cut in the middle of your abdomen. 

Removing abdominal fluid

You might have a build up of fluid in your tummy (abdomen). Your doctor will take a sample of this fluid to check for cancer cells. 

Last reviewed: 
23 Dec 2021
Next review due: 
23 Dec 2024