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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Ovarian Cancer, Version 1.2017


Testing for ovarian cancer

Imaging tests

Figure 6

CT scan machine

A CT machine is large and has a

tunnel in the middle. During the

test, you will lie on a table that

moves slowly through the tunnel.

CT scan

A CT scan uses x-rays to take pictures of the inside

of the body. It takes many x-rays of the same body

part from different angles. All the x-ray pictures are

combined to make one detailed picture of the body


A CT scan of your chest, abdomen, and/or pelvis

may be given along with other initial tests to look for

ovarian cancer. This type of scan is good at showing

if the cancer has spread outside of the ovaries. But, it

is not good at showing small tumors. A CT scan may

also show if nearby lymph nodes are bigger than

normal, which can be a sign of cancer spread.

Before the CT scan, you may be given a contrast dye

to make the pictures clearer. The dye may be put in a

glass of water for you to drink, injected into your vein,

or both. It may cause you to feel flushed or get hives.

Rarely, serious allergic reactions occur. Tell your

doctors if you have had bad reactions in the past.

A CT scan machine is large and has a tunnel in the


See Figure 6.

During the scan, you will

need to lie face up on a table that moves through the

tunnel. The scanner will rotate an x-ray beam around

you to take pictures from many angles. You may hear

buzzing, clicking, or whirring sounds during this time.