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Ovarian Cancer Screenings & Treatment

Screening Tests

You are considered high risk if you have:

  • BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene
  • Hereditary breast ovarian cancer syndrome
  • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), also called Lynch syndrome
  • BRIP1, RAP51C, or RAD51D gene

There is no simple and reliable way to test for ovarian cancer in women who do not have any signs or symptoms. The Pap test does not screen for ovarian cancer. The only cancer the Pap test screens for is cervical cancer.

However, here are steps you can take:

  • Pay attention to your body, and know what is normal for you.
  • If you notice any changes in your body that are not normal for you and could be a sign of ovarian cancer, talk to your doctor and ask about possible causes, such as ovarian cancer.
  • Ask your doctor if you should have a test, such as a rectovaginal pelvic exam, a transvaginal ultrasound, or a CA-125 blood test if:
    • You have any unexplained signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer. These tests sometimes help find or rule out ovarian cancer.
    • You have had breast, uterine, or colorectal cancer; or a close relative has had ovarian cancer.

For more information, contact us at 240-566-4100.

Ovarian Cancer Treatment Surgery

If you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it. This depends on several factors, including:

  • The stage of the cancer
  • The size of the tumor after surgery (debulking)
  • Your desire to have children
  • Your age and overall health


  • Surgery to remove the cancerous growth is the most common method of diagnosis and therapy for ovarian cancer. It is best performed by a qualified gynecologic oncologist.
  • Most women with ovarian cancer will have surgery at some point during the course of their disease, and each surgery has different goals.


  • Before treatment begins, it is important to understand how chemotherapy works. Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer using chemicals designed to destroy cancer cells or stop them from growing. The goal of chemotherapy is to cure cancer, shrink tumors prior to surgery or radiation therapy, destroy cells that might have spread, or control tumor growth.


  • Radiation therapy uses high-­energy X­-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Please note that this therapy is rarely used in the treatment of ovarian cancer in the United States. It is more often used in other parts of the body where cancer has spread.


Complementary Therapies

  • Some women with ovarian cancer turn toward the whole­ body approach of complementary therapy to enhance their fight against the disease, as well as to relieve stress and lessen side effects, such as fatigue, pain, and nausea.
  • Complementary therapies are diverse practices and products that are used along with conventional medicine. Many women have tried and benefited from the complementary therapies listed below. Speaking with other women, in addition to the healthcare team, can suggest the therapies that may be most helpful and appropriate for each woman’s lifestyle.


Clinical Trials

  • Clinical trials are research studies designed to find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer. Many women undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer choose to participate in clinical trials. Through participation in these trials, patients may receive access to new therapy options that are not available to women outside the clinical trial setting.


Your Ovarian Cancer Treatment Team

Understanding your diagnosis and treatment options is the first step in fighting ovarian cancer. At Frederick Health, we’re committed to providing you with a cancer treatment experience that is focused on you.

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