CA125 blood test
CA125 is a protein released by ovarian cancer tissue which is often found to be at high levels in the bloodstream in women with ovarian cancer. It is used to diagnose and follow up ovarian tumours before and after treatment. However, to date, it has not shown to be effective at picking up early stage ovarian cancer, and levels of CA125 can be raised by many normal tissues or other conditions, such as endometriosis. Also some tumours do not produce CA125. Currently it is not yet specific or accurate enough to be used as a widespread screening tool.
Cancer or carcinoma
The name given to a group of diseases that can occur anywhere in the body. They all involve abnormal cells that grow uncontrollably and which may spread to other organs.
A substance that can cause cancer.
The treatment of disease with chemicals that are cytotoxic (kill cancer cells).
CT scan - computerised tomography
A series of X-rays of the body which are combined together to produce multiple images.
Examining cells under a microscope.
Removal of as much of the tumour as possible. This is believed to improve a woman's chance of survival.
Surgical opening on the abdomen to allow for elimination of bowel waste into a bag.