Overview

The most common method of treatment for ovarian cancer is surgery. This should be performed by a qualified gynecologic oncologist. Most women will have surgery at some point during the course of their disease, and each procedure has different goals.

Surgery for ovarian cancer

If ovarian cancer is diagnosed, your oncologist will discuss the best course of treatment. This usually involves surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and in rare cases, radiation therapy. Surgery is the main form of treatment for ovarian cancer. The type of surgery you have depends on your general health and how far the cancer has spread, which may not be known until it is performed.

The two main goals of ovarian cancer surgery are to stage the cancer and remove as much as possible, so there is no visual evidence of disease. This is known as debulking surgery.

It’s possible to treat some ovarian cancers without removing the uterus and ovaries. These are important considerations for women of childbearing age to discuss, so it is important to have surgery performed by a gynecologic oncologist – a specialist in cancers of the female reproductive organs. Research shows that when a gynecologic oncologist treats a woman for ovarian cancer, she tends to fare much better than those who are not.

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