Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ovarian Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Delayed Diagnosis for Ovarian Cancer Can Cost Lives

continued...

A pelvic exam must probe the rectum as well as the vagina, Sood emphasizes. "You can miss 25% of ovarian masses if you don't do a rectal exam. Of course, not every woman with abdominal bloating will turn out to have ovarian cancer. Still, a pelvic exam, including a digital rectal exam, is such a simple thing to do. It should be part of every good physical exam."

However, about a third of the surveyed women said when they first discussed their symptoms with the doctor, no pelvic exam was done. "Physicians need to comprehend the potential significance of these symptoms," Sood says. "If a woman finds her doctor doesn't perform a pelvic exam, she should feel free to seek out someone who does."

"It is so critical that patients not ignore this," Fiorica says. "At a bare minimum, have a pelvic done. Then the physician can decide if anything additional is needed. If we take these steps, hopefully we can detect these cases earlier, and cure more of them."

 

1|2

Today on WebMD

what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
cancer fighting foods
SLIDESHOW
15 Cancer Symptoms Women Ignore
FEATURE
 
Integrative Medicine Cancer Quiz
QUIZ
Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Screening Tests for Women
Slideshow
Graphic of ovaries within reproductive system
VIDEO
 
Ovarian Cancer Marker
VIDEO
Pets Improve Your Health
SLIDESHOW
 
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW
Healthy meal with salmon
Article