How is ovarian cancer detected? If you have the signs and symptoms take this test

Ovarian cancer symptoms could be mistaken for less serious conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or pre-menstrual syndrome. 

A new poll has found that some women would be more likely to make changes to their diet than visit their GP if they were regularly bloated.

Alongside feeling constantly bloated, other symptoms include a swollen tummy, discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area and feeling full quickly when eating. 

If you think you have symptoms of ovarian cancer you should see your GP and they can carry out the following test. 


If your GP thinks your symptoms could be due to ovarian cancer, they'll recommend having a blood test to check for a substance called CA125.

NHS Choices explains: “CA125 is produced by some ovarian cancer cells. A high level of CA125 in your blood could be a sign of ovarian cancer. 

“But a raised CA125 level doesn't mean you definitely have cancer, as it can also be caused by less serious things such as endometriosis, fibroids and even pregnancy.” 

If the test finds a high level of CA125, you’ll be referred for a scan to check what the possible causes could be. 

But the health body warns: “Sometimes your CA125 level can be normal in the early stages of ovarian cancer. If you've had a normal test result but your symptoms don't improve, go back to your GP as you may need to be re-tested.”

If your blood test suggests you have ovarian cancer your GP will arrange for you to have an ultrasound scan. 

Further tests, carried out by a specialist in a hospital, may include a CT scan, a chest X-ray to check if cancer has spread to your lungs, a needle biopsy or a laparoscopy - a small cut made in the tummy where a thin tube with a camera on the end is inserted.