Find out what to expect when you visit your GP to talk about ovarian cancer, and find out more about ovarian cancer diagnosis.
Tests to expect
If you are experiencing the symptoms of ovarian cancer more than 12 times a month, your GP should do a CA125 blood test. Depending on the results of this blood test, they may recommend an ultrasound of your tummy and ovaries.
If the results of the tests suggest ovarian cancer might be a possibility, you will be referred to see a specialist called a gynaecological oncologist for further tests.
10 top tips for making the most of your GP appointment
1. Understand ovarian cancer symptoms
- persistent bloating
- pain in the pelvis or abdomen
- difficulty eating, or feeling full quickly
- needing to wee more urgently or often than usual
Take note of them, particularly if the symptoms are new for you, if they don’t go away and especially if they happen more than 12 times a month.
2. Act early
3. Book an appointment
If you think you need an appointment, be assertive and don’t be put off.
4. Take your time
5. Help your GP as much as possible
In advance of your appointment write down anything you want to discuss and if there is something specific like ovarian cancer that you are worried about, mention this to your GP.
6. Keep a diary
Keep a symptom diary if your symptoms persist. This can be very useful not only for you, but also when you see your GP.
7. Get support from friends and family
If friends or family notice you’re unwell or experiencing symptoms, act on their concerns and make an appointment with your GP. Don’t dismiss their worries. You can always bring a friend or family member to support you in your consultation.
8. Return to your GP
If your GP asks you to return if things haven’t improved, they really mean it.
9. Keep an eye on persistent symptoms
If tests and investigations are negative and your symptoms persist, go back and see your GP. Don’t be afraid of your GP – they are there to help.
10. Be aware - smear tests
A normal smear test only rules out cancer of the cervix and not other female cancers such as ovarian and uterine (womb) cancers. If you are worried about ovarian cancer then say so.
Download our 10 top tips leaflet to take with you to your GP appointment
This set of top tips was developed by a workshop group comprising people affected by ovarian cancer and GPs.
The information on this page is approved by the Information Standard scheme to ensure that it provides accurate and high-quality information.
Last reviewed: April 2013
Next review: April 2015