How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?


Quick Answer

The most common treatment options for ovarian cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy, as listed by the American Cancer Society. Patients often undergo a combination of two or more treatment options.

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How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?
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Full Answer

The initial treatment for ovarian cancer normally includes surgery and chemotherapy, according to Mayo Clinic. During surgery, the surgeon normally removes both ovaries, the uterus, the fallopian tubes and nearby lymph nodes along with affected fatty tissue. The doctor attempts to remove as much cancerous tissue as possible from the abdomen. If the patient receives an early diagnosis, she may undergo a less extensive surgery that may preserve her ability to have children.

Patients generally receive chemotherapy following surgery to kill remaining cancer cells, notes Mayo Clinic. The chemotherapy medications are injected into the abdominal cavity or a vein. In advanced ovarian cancer, doctors may recommend chemotherapy as the initial treatment.

The choice of treatment often depends on the stage and type of ovarian cancer, which may be discovered during surgery, as confirmed by the American Cancer Society. Age, state of health and the patient's desire to have children also play a role in the chosen treatment plan. Patients should talk with a doctor about all treatment options as well as understand the risks and side effects of each before making an informed decision about which treatment methods they wish to undergo.

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