If your gynecologist or primary care doctor suspects your symptoms are related to ovarian cancer, you may have one or more of the following examinations as a first round of tests.
The collected material will be sent to a lab for testing.Results are usually available in 3-4 working days.
- Do not use douches, tampons, vaginal medications, or vaginal sprays or powders for at least 24 hours beforehand.
- The examination will be similar to ones performed for your annual pap test. Your physician will insert gloved fingers into the vagina and will palpate the skin of the area with the other hand looking for any unusual growths. Masses can be caused by benign growths, but cancer may be suspected if a mass is found that is relatively large and is solid.
- Your doctor will look for small growths on the floor of the pelvis, which may indicate cancer.
Finally, a pap test may be performed. While used to detect cervical cancer, the pap sample may have a few ovarian cancer cells, confirming a diagnosis. The doctor will use a small brush or a wooden spatula to gently collect a sample of cervical cells.
The entire pelvic exam takes about 10 minutes. After the exam is finished, you will be given a washcloth or tissue to wipe your vaginal area to remove any discharge resulting from the exam, and you will then dress.