If your doctor thinks you may have ovarian cancer, you will be referred to someone who specializes in this disease. Usually that is a gynecologic oncologist, a surgeon who is specially trained in treating cancers of the female reproductive tract.
Imaging and diagnostic studies that you may undergo include:
- UltrasoundUltrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to create a picture on a video screen. The waves are released from a small probe placed in the vagina or on the surface of the abdomen.
A special kind of ultrasound, color-flow Doppler, is sometimes used to measure blood flow to the ovaries. Blood flow is usually increased in ovarian cancers, although it may also be increased by other benign conditions.
- Computed Tomography (CT scan)In this study, an X-ray beam rotates around the body, taking images at various angles. A computer compiles the images into a 3-D picture of the pelvis.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)This study uses magnetic fields and a computer to produce detailed, 3-D images of the pelvis. The procedure uses no X-rays.
- Tissue Sampling (Biopsy)Taking a sample of tissue and examining it under a microscope is the only way to be sure that a growth is cancer. Biopsy is usually performed at the time of surgery.
In rare cases, the biopsy sample can be taken by inserting a needle into the pelvis, with the guidance of computed tomography or ultrasound, and withdrawing some fluid that has collected in the abdomen (a condition called ascites).
- Next section of Taking Charge: How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?
Return to the Taking Charge Index
- What Is Breast Cancer?
- Who Gets Breast Cancer?
- If You Are at High Risk for Breast Cancer
- Screening for Breast Cancer
- How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
- How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
- What Is Ovarian Cancer?
- Who Gets Ovarian Cancer?
- If You Are at High Risk for Ovarian Cancer
- Screening for Ovarian Cancer
- How Is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed?
- How is Ovarian Cancer Treated?
- Living With Cancer
- Diet, Lifestyle and Cancer
- Glossary of Terms
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
Basic Facts About Breast Health
Learn basic facts about breast structure and function and how to differentiate between the different types and stages of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Glossary
Check out our comprehensive Glossary of Breast Cancer terminology, which includes definitions of everything from AC chemotherapy to peripheral neuropathy.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Click now to find a summary of the factors that increase risk for developing breast cancer, including both factors that we cannot change and those we can.
Self-Care and Recovery
Self-Care and recovery resources including an Introduction to Lifestyle Change, Nutrition and Breast Cancer, Hydration: Water and Health, Meditation and more.
Breast reconstruction, surgery to rebuild a breast's shape, is often an option after mastectomy and is covered by some health insurance plans. Learn more now.
Follow-Up Care for Breast Cancer Patients
After patients have completed treatment for early stage breast cancer, one of the common questions is, "How should I best be monitored?" Learn more here.
Mastectomy: Instructions Before Surgery
The following information will help you prepare for your upcoming Mastectomy surgery. If you have any questions, please contact the Breast Care Center staff.
Mastectomy: Instructions After Surgery
Post Mastectomy surgery instructions including, pain management, incision and dressing care, activity, diet, follow-up care and more.
Menopause and Breast Cancer
Breast cancer treatment often causes women to enter menopause prematurely. Although each woman reacts to therapy individually, certain side effects are common.
Metastatic Breast Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment
Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that originated in the breast and has spread to other organ systems in the body. Learn more here.
Navigating Your Path to Breast Care
Different services and information are needed at different points in breast health care and breast cancer treatment. Learn more here.
Osteoporosis and Breast Cancer
Women who have had breast cancer or are considered at high risk for developing breast cancer are at risk for developing osteoporosis. Learn more.
Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
The UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and the Department of Radiation Oncology have compiled information about radiation therapy for your convenience.
Breast Care Center in Marin
1100 S. Eliseo Dr., Suite 1
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
1825 Fourth St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Gynecologic Surgical Oncology Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158