The choice of treatment and the
long-term outcome (prognosis) for women who have
ovarian cancer depends on the type and
stage of cancer. Your age, overall health, quality of
life, and desire to have children must also be
Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the ovaries.
The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows). Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries make eggs and female hormones (chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs work in the body).Anatomy of the female reproductive system. The organs in the female reproductive...
Additional information about ovarian cancer is provided by the National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/ovarian.
Side effects of treatment
Most treatments for ovarian
cancer cause side effects. They may differ, depending on the type of
treatment and your age and overall health.
Side effects of surgery depend on the extent of your
surgery. If the doctor removes your ovaries, you will no longer be able to bear children. And if you were still menstruating before your surgery, you will start
Radiation treatment also can cause side effects. For more information, see Other Treatment.
Home treatment may help you manage the side
Advanced-stage ovarian cancer
advanced-stage ovarian cancer involves removing as much of the cancer as
possible. The uterus, the tissue lining the abdominal wall (omentum),
and any areas of visible cancer are removed. This may include surgery on the
intestines, urinary system, or spleen, or scraping of the diaphragm to remove
all the cancer. The long-term outcome is better if no cancer cells
When you first find out that you have cancer, you may feel scared or angry. Or you may feel very calm. It's normal to have a wide range of feelings and for those feelings to change quickly. Some people find that it helps to talk about their feelings with family and friends.
If your emotional reaction to cancer gets in the way of your ability to make decisions about your health, it's important to talk with your doctor. Your cancer treatment center may offer psychological or financial services. And a local chapter of the American Cancer Society can help you find a support group.