Information for general practitioners

Older woman with medical practitionerInformation for GPs

These pages are specifically for healthcare professionals working in general practice. They are designed to be a comprehensive source of the latest research and guidance, facilitating best practice and early diagnosis of ovarian cancer in general practice.

The diagnosis section describes the key recommendations outlined in the NICE guideline CG122 Ovarian Cancer: The recognition and initial management of ovarian cancer; including clear guidance on recognising and managing potentially symptomatic women in primary care. The treatment section provides information on surgery and chemotherapy.

Our section on familial ovarian cancer contains information about the genes known to be mutated in familial ovarian cancer; and also offers guidance on the steps to take if a patient presents with a possible family history of ovarian cancer.

On this page you will find information about:
  • Continuing professional development online learning modules (RCGP, BMJ)
  • Supporting resources for the Be Clear on Cancer campaign
  • Our symptoms flag pens for GPs
  • Our fact sheets for women undergoing CA125 and/or abdominal/pelvic scans
  • Ten top tips for GPs assessing women with symptoms that could be ovarian cancer - produced with Macmillan

 You can also find further resources here.

Free-to-access online Learning modules

Pulse Learning 250pxTarget Ovarian Cancer has developed a new eLearning tool, The Family History of Ovarian Cancer, in partnership with Pulse Learning, to help GPs update their understanding of familial ovarian and breast cancer.

This module provides 1.5 CPD hours of accredited learning and will help you update your knowledge on ovarian and breast cancer genetics. Highlighting the importance of considering the father’s side of the family in assessing familial risk, the module covers: (i) the reliability of negative genetic testing; (ii) risk reduction strategies that moderate/high-risk women should consider; and (iii) the implications regarding contraception and HRT for women at high or moderate risk. It also covers the question of who should be considered for chemoprevention or prophylactic surgery and who would warrant genetic testing for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

Synopsis: Consultant clinical geneticist Dr Marc Tischkowitz answers GP Dr Keith Hopcroft’s questions on the genetic link between breast and ovarian cancer, areas to explore in the family history and managing women at high risk of ovarian cancer.

This module has been funded as part of Target Ovarian Cancer’s ongoing commitment to support women with familial risk and further establishes the charity as a key provider of GP support and learning in ovarian cancer. 


Target Ovarian Cancer has partnered with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to develop a new eLearning module Bloating and Other Abdominal Symptoms: Could it be Ovarian Cancer?

The 30 minute module was developed as 55% of GPs felt that they were more inclined to choose a resource which covers symptoms commonly presenting in primary care (Target Ovarian Cancer Pathfinder Study 2012). Through a series of case studies the module is an opportunity to think in greater detail about presenting symptoms; and consider which factors might distinguish ovarian cancer from common conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infection and ovarian cysts, themselves, the most common misdiagnosis among women with ovarian cancer.   This module was used to support the recent Be Clear on Cancer ovarian cancer awareness pilot which took place in the North West of England, in February and March 2014.


BMJ LearningInteractive Case History CPD Module 

This module provides an hour of accredited learning based on interactive case studies involving ovarian cancer.  As with all the BMJ Learning modules, this tool has been peer reviewed and incorporates the latest research available; and in April 2011 it underwent revision to reflect the NICE clinical guidelines. 

The module was 'highly commended’ by the 2010 Excellence in Oncology Awards in the best professional education initiative category'. The judges recognised it showed great potential to influence the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Read more about the interactive case history tool 

Podcast CPD Module

We have extended our suite of GP educational resources by working with BMJ Learning to develop an audio podcast on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. The podcast offers an alternative format to the interactive case history module to those GPs who want to update their knowledge on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer; at 20 minutes long it is also an excellent refresher for those looking to build on their existing knowledge of ovarian cancer. The podcast offers 1 hour of accredited learning and is free to access.

Please consider completing these useful modules and also alert your colleagues to the opportunity.


Our flag pen is a simple and convenient way to remember the symptoms of ovarian cancer and the recommendations for GPs made in the NICE clinical guideline.

 Flag penFlag penFlag pen

Our fact sheets for women

Developed to help GP's who are managing potentially symptomatic women and referring them for diagnostic tests, our fact sheets are designed to be given to women who are undergoing diagnostic tests for ovarian cancer. Each fact sheet outlines, what the test is for, what to expect when having the test and what the results might me.

CA125 fact sheet: NICE recommends that women experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer are given a CA125 blood test.

Pelvic and abdominal ultrasound scans fact sheet: NICE recommend pelvic and abdominal ultrasound scans for symptomatic women who have a CA125 test result greater than 35 IU/ml.

Download a copy of the fact sheet reference list 

Ten Top Tips

Ten Top Tips (developed in partnership with Macmillan): Aimed to support patients and GPs in communicating more effectively with each other about the symptoms of ovarian cancer

10 Top Tips - GP Guide  

Publications for patients

If you are supporting a patient with ovarian cancer you might be interested in our patient guides. Three guides are available which cover a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer, recurrent ovarian cancer and end of life/palliative care. Each guide aims to give women practical information and support. You can read more about the guides here.  

All of our resources are available free of charge, to order copies of any of our resources please email or phone 020 7923 5470