Ovarian Cancer Signs & Ultrasound Screening In Dublin

Exam Time: 20-30 minutes
Exam Price: €160.00 (Medical card: €140.00)

At our ultrasound centre we perform ovarian ultrasound scans that screen for ovarian cysts and tumors in detailed 2D and 3D imaging.

Using ultrasound we perform a detailed gynecological examination of the ovaries and the area in the female pelvis surrounding them. We check for cysts and tumors that can be an indication of ovarian cancer.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for an ovarian scan contact us at admin@ultrasound.ie or 01 210 0232.


What is ovarian cancer?

Ovaries are sack-shaped glands in a woman’s pelvis that are responsible for storing eggs (ova) and regulating her reproductive hormones. Though new studies have indicated that it may be possible for women to grow new eggs, conventional science says that women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have. These eggs (some two million) are stored in the ovaries and released over the course of her lifetime. When the eggs are released, they travel through the fallopian tubes and into the uterus. If an egg is fertilized, it implants into the uterine wall and develops into a fetus.

Ovarian cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in one or both of a woman’s ovaries. There are three types of cells in an ovary, and as such, there are three different kinds of ovarian cancer.

  • Epithelial tumors are the most common type of ovarian cancer. These tumors grow from the cells that cover the outside of the ovaries.
  • Germ cell tumors grow from the cells that produce eggs inside the ovaries.
  • Stromal cell tumors grow from structural tissue cells – the cells that hold the ovaries together and produce estrogen and progesterone.

    Stages of Ovarian Cancer
    All cancers are described according to stages and degrees. The stage of a cancer simply indicates how far the cancer has spread from its primary location.

Stage I: The cancer is located within one or both ovaries (or fallopian tubes) but has not spread to the outside of the ovaries or fallopian tubes.

Stage II: The cancer is located within ovaries or fallopian tubes and has also spread to other organs in the immediate pelvic area such as the uterus, the bladder, the colon, or the rectum.

Stage III: The cancer has spread from the ovaries to either the lining of the abdomen or the lymph nodes that are located at the back of the abdomen.

Stage IV: The cancer has spread to the inside of organs such as the lungs, spleen, liver that are located outside the membrane that covers most of the abdominal organs (the peritoneum). Stage IV is the most advanced stage of cancer.


What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Unfortunately, early stage (Stage I & II) ovarian cancer often has few noticeable symptoms, which makes early diagnosis difficult. That is why it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following symptoms for more than a couple weeks.

  • Pelvic pain (including pain during sex)
  • Bloating
  • Feeling full after eating only small amounts of food
  • Feeling like you need to pee frequently or urgently
  • Menstrual changes
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal swelling that accompanies weight loss
  • Nausea

Obviously, many of these symptoms can be (and usually are) caused by things other than ovarian cancer. Nonetheless, early detection provides the best chance for a full recovery, so book an appointment with your gynecologist if any of these symptoms persist for longer than a few days.


How is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed?

If your doctor is concerned about your symptoms, an ultrasound will be performed. An ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of your internal organs. Two different types of ultrasounds may be used to check for ovarian tumors or other abnormalities. The first is a traditional ultrasound, where a wand is rubbed across the skin of your belly; the second type is a trans-vaginal ultrasound. A trans-vaginal ultrasound involves inserting a small ultrasound probe into the vagina to provide a picture of the cervix, uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Both traditional and trans-vaginal ultrasounds are painless and require only a few minutes.

If during the ultrasound a suspicious mass or any other cause for concern is seen, your GP may order a blood test called CA125. (we do not do blood work at our centre only ultrasound) This test measures the amount of the cancer antigen 125 in your blood. An increased CA125 level in your blood could indicate ovarian cancer, though it is important to know that many things (including menstruation) can cause an elevated CA125 level, so an abnormal result on this test is by no means a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Nonetheless, an abnormal result may indicate that further testing, perhaps a biopsy, is needed


What Happens if I’m Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer?

If test results show that you have ovarian cancer, you will be referred to a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in the treatment of gynecological cancers. Your treatment plan may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of all.


For more information or to schedule an appointment for an ovarian scan contact us at admin@ultrasound.ie or 01 210 0232.