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Once the doctor is sure of an abnormality, a biopsy is done to determine further details about the type of cancer present.
What to expect
A biopsy is usually the best way to tell for certain if an abnormal area is cancerous or not. This procedure involves collecting a sample of tissue for further analysis in a lab. In most cases, a biopsy is needed before any treatment starts. While the screening tests for ovarian cancer are generally painless, a biopsy can cause discomfort, bleeding or even pain. There are generally two types of biopsies used to diagnose ovarian cancers
In this method, the doctor will pass a fine needle through the skin, using a CT or ultrasound scan to guide them to the right place. Your doctor will normally use local anaesthesia to complete this procedure. You may also be given a mild sedative to help you relax. You will usually be kept under observation for a few hours after this test, or sometimes overnight.
This is a surgical procedure used to take biopsies. You will be given a general anaesthetic (i.e. you will be asleep) during the operation. The doctor will make a few small cuts in the abdomen. Then he or she will pump gas into the abdominal wall, to gain better visibility of the internal organs. Next, your doctor will pass a thin tube with a small camera at one end into the abdomen. This instrument is called a laparoscope. The doctor will then examine the area carefully and take biopsies. You may experience some pain or discomfort after the procedure, but this will usually subside after a day or two. You will usually be kept under observation for a few hours after this test, or sometimes overnight.
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