If you have the signs and symptoms that are suggestive of ovarian cancer your doctor will probably perform the following tests:
A Complete Pelvic Exam
In a pelvic exam, the doctor examines your vagina, uterus, rectum and pelvis, including your ovaries, for masses or growths. This exam allows the ovaries to be examined from multiple sides and allows doctors to feel for growths on the ovaries or other abnormalities. Experts recommend that this exam also be done annually.
Transvaginal or Pelvic Ultrasound
This is a test in which sound waves are used to create a picture of the ovaries and can reveal if there are masses on the ovaries.
CA-125 Blood Test
This tests for a substance in the blood that may increase when a cancerous tumor is present. This protein is produced by ovarian cancer cells and is elevated in more than 80 percent of women with advanced ovarian cancer and 50 percent of those with early-stage ovarian cancer. However, a CA-125 may be elevated during ovulation and in the presence of another type of cancer or benign conditions such as endometriosis or fibroids.
None of these tests are definitive when used on their own. They are most effective when used in combination with each other. Your doctor may also use CT scan or PET scan as part of the diagnostic process. The only definitive way to determine if a patient has ovarian cancer is through surgery and biopsy.
A Pap Test does not detect for ovarian cancer, this is for cervical cancer.