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What are the possible treatments for ovarian cancer?

1 doctor weighed in

In brief: Treatment of ovarian cancer

Your treatment will depend on the type of ovarian cancer you have and how far it has spread.
Before you see a specialist, consider writing down any questions that you want to ask so that you don’t forget them on the day.


Surgery
Almost all women with ovarian cancer will need surgery. If the cancer hasn't spread beyond your ovary, it may be possible to remove just the single affected ovary and fallopian tube.

If the cancer has already spread beyond your ovary, both ovaries and your womb, together with nearby lymph nodes and surrounding tissue, may need to be removed. This is called a total hysterectomy and oophrectomy.

Other types of surgery for more advanced ovarian cancer are used to remove, or 'debulk' as much of the tumour as possible.

Non-surgical treatments
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy uses medicines to destroy cancer cells. The type of chemotherapy treatment you have will vary depending on your type of ovarian cancer. Usually you have a course of treatment, which is given as several doses at intervals over a period of weeks. Your doctor will give you information on the type and course that is best for you.
?
You will probably be offered chemotherapy after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells that were not removed by surgery or if there is a risk the cancer may return. However, you may have it before surgery to shrink the tumour.
If ovarian cancer comes back (a relapse), you may be treated with the same chemotherapy medicine or an alternative, depending on the timing of your relapse and whether the cancer has developed resistance to previous chemotherapy medicines.

• Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy uses radiation to destroy cancer cells. It's not often used to treat ovarian cancer but is very occasionally used after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Your doctor may give you information on clinical trials that are testing new treatments for ovarian cancer. You may wish to take part in a trial as it may involve a new treatment and benefit other patients in the future.

In brief: Treatment of ovarian cancer

Your treatment will depend on the type of ovarian cancer you have and how far it has spread.
Before you see a specialist, consider writing down any questions that you want to ask so that you don’t forget them on the day.


Surgery
Almost all women with ovarian cancer will need surgery. If the cancer hasn't spread beyond your ovary, it may be possible to remove just the single affected ovary and fallopian tube.

If the cancer has already spread beyond your ovary, both ovaries and your womb, together with nearby lymph nodes and surrounding tissue, may need to be removed. This is called a total hysterectomy and oophrectomy.

Other types of surgery for more advanced ovarian cancer are used to remove, or 'debulk' as much of the tumour as possible.

Non-surgical treatments
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy uses medicines to destroy cancer cells. The type of chemotherapy treatment you have will vary depending on your type of ovarian cancer. Usually you have a course of treatment, which is given as several doses at intervals over a period of weeks. Your doctor will give you information on the type and course that is best for you.
?
You will probably be offered chemotherapy after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells that were not removed by surgery or if there is a risk the cancer may return. However, you may have it before surgery to shrink the tumour.
If ovarian cancer comes back (a relapse), you may be treated with the same chemotherapy medicine or an alternative, depending on the timing of your relapse and whether the cancer has developed resistance to previous chemotherapy medicines.

• Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy uses radiation to destroy cancer cells. It's not often used to treat ovarian cancer but is very occasionally used after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Your doctor may give you information on clinical trials that are testing new treatments for ovarian cancer. You may wish to take part in a trial as it may involve a new treatment and benefit other patients in the future.
Quality HealthCare Team
Quality HealthCare Team
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Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
27 years in practice
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