Women's Services

Diagnosing Gynecological Cancer

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Diagnosing Gynecologic Cancer
Many women referred to a gynecologic oncologist have already been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer. Other women may be referred by their primary physician after presenting with signs or symptoms of a gynecologic cancer. In those cases, diagnostic methods may include:

  • Pelvic Examination – An exam of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. When performed by an expert gynecologic oncologist, a pelvic examination allows for detection and characterization of many serious gynecologic problems. A pelvic examination also helps the gynecologic oncologist in planning your treatment options.
  • Colposcopy – A procedure performed at the time of a pelvic examination in which a colposcope (a lighted, magnifying instrument) is used to visualize the vagina and cervix for abnormal areas.
  • Biopsy – During a pelvic examination and colposcopy, small samples of tissue from part of the female reproductive system can be removed. Simple biopsy of the vulva, vagina, cervix or uterine lining can be performed to assist in the diagnosis of a gynecologic problem.
  • Radiologic Studies – Various imaging studies, including ultrasound, computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) can be utilized to visualize the inside of your body. Results from these studies may assist in treatment planning.



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