Know your risk. Save your life.

Ovarian cancer is very hard to detect. Even if you see your gynecologist every year, it’s unlikely they would diagnose ovarian cancer during a pelvic exam if you don’t have any symptoms. And unfortunately, there is no screening test for ovarian cancer.

However, if you are at high risk for ovarian cancer, there are tests that might help detect it earlier. Blood tests can measure CA-125, a protein in your blood. High amounts might mean that cancer cells have formed. Your doctor can also use ultrasound to examine your uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries for signs of cancer.

Family history is the strongest risk factor for ovarian cancer. If your mother or sister has had ovarian cancer, certain types of colon cancer, or certain breast cancers, you might benefit from screening. Other risk factors include:

  • Breast cancer diagnosis before age 45
  • Male relative with breast cancer
  • Personal or family history of gene mutation
Know Your Risk
Genetic testing for cancer.

Lower Your Risk for Ovarian Cancer

You cannot always prevent ovarian cancer, but you may be able to lower your risk in a few ways:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Breastfeed any children you have
  • Use birth control pills
  • Undergo hysterectomy if you have a family history of reproductive or breast cancers

You should always talk to your doctor about your risks before undergoing any surgical procedures. Hysterectomy is not the right choice for every woman.

Ellis Medicine and Roswell Park experts can work with you to help you understand your risk for ovarian cancer and find the right prevention strategy for you.

Live-Saving Cancer Care, nearby in your community.

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