Testing for ovarian cancer when you have no symptoms is called screening. Before screening for any type of cancer can be carried out, doctors must have an accurate test to use. The test must be reliable in picking up cancers that are there. And it must not give results that make it look as though someone has cancer when they do not (false positive results).
At the moment, there is no screening test reliable enough to use to pick up ovarian cancer at an early stage. Researchers are working on trying to find a sensitive screening test for ovarian cancer.
If you have a strong family history you may be referred to a specialist clinic for follow up or you may decide to undergo preventive surgery.
Talk to your GP if you feel you or your family are at risk. And remember a smear test will not detect ovarian cancer; it is used for screening for cervical cancer.
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