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
In the absence of extra-abdominal metastatic disease, definitive staging of ovarian cancer requires surgery. The role of surgery in patients with stage IV disease and extra-abdominal disease is yet to be established. If disease appears to be limited to the ovaries or pelvis, it is essential at laparotomy to examine and biopsy or to obtain cytologic brushings of the diaphragm, both paracolic gutters, the pelvic peritoneum, para-aortic and pelvic nodes, and infracolic omentum, and to obtain peritoneal...
Surgery to find out if you have cancer and to treat it. This may include taking
biopsies to check for the spread of cancer.
Chemotherapy, which uses medicines to kill cancer
cells. It is recommended after surgery for most stages of ovarian cancer.
Women with more advanced ovarian cancer may have part of their chemotherapy before surgery and the rest of it after surgery. This can make the surgery safer for these women.
Radiation therapy may be used to destroy cancer cells using high-dose X-rays or other high-energy rays. For more information, see Other Treatment.
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
Side effects of chemotherapy may
include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and hair
loss. There is also an increased chance of getting a serious infection.
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.