ZocdocAnswersCan sonography spot tumors in my reproductive system?

Question

Can sonography spot tumors in my reproductive system?

If not, how are those tumors found?

Answer

I assume you are referring to ultrasound when you say "sonography." Ultrasound is generally the first radiology test used to detect tumors in both the male (testicles) and female (uterus and ovaries) reproductive systems. If you are male, then a urologist is the type of specialist to see if you are concerned about testicular cancer. Your primary care doctor can begin by performing a testicular exam, and can refer you to a urologist if needed. If you are female, then your gynecologist will be able to do a physical exam (a pelvic exam) to determine if you should have an ultrasound for further evaluation. Ultrasound can generally detect masses on the testicles, ovaries, and in the uterus. However, the masses need to be of a certain size before they are detectable. Therefore, ultrasound can miss some small tumors. If your doctor suspects that you have a cancer that has not been seen on ultrasound, he or she can refer you for a CT scan (also called a CAT scan) to further look for tumor. A blood test exists for ovarian cancer, but generally it is not a good screening test in the general population, unless you have a high risk for ovarian cancer, such as many family members who had ovarian cancer. Your primary care doctor can counsel you about your personal risk.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.