There isn’t a good screening test for ovarian cancer, but there are signs and symptoms you can look out for. The earlier ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

There are ovarian cancer symptoms, but sometimes they can be hard to recognize because they can be caused by things that aren’t cancer. Symptoms can include

  • bloating or increased belly size

  • pelvic or belly pain

  • feeling full quickly or having trouble eating

  • having to pee, or feeling like you have to pee, often

These symptoms are normal for many people, which can be confusing. If you’ve got any of these symptoms and notice that they last a long time or keep getting worse, then it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a doctor.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

Screening for ovarian cancer can be done by a physical exam, which includes a pelvic exam, or by having an ultrasound of your pelvic area. Your doctor might also do a blood test to measure certain substances in your blood. These tests can tell you if something isn’t right.

However, the only way to diagnose ovarian cancer for sure is to have a biopsy. A biopsy is when a doctor removes tissue right from your ovary and examines it in a lab to look for cancerous cells. Your doctor will talk to you about the results of your biopsy and what they mean.