Surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy are treatments for ovarian cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Sometimes two or more treatment types are used together, and physicians generally make treatment recommendations based on the stage of the cancer and the health of the patient.
The main treatment option for ovarian cancer is surgery, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Surgery is also often required to find out just how far the disease has progressed and to provide accurate staging of the cancer. During surgery, the surgeon generally removes fluid from the abdomen, tissue samples and lymph nodes for testing. The surgeon also removes as much of the cancer as feasible.
Physicians often use chemotherapy for treating ovarian cancer, although it is usually only recommended after surgery, notes the ASCO. This type of treatment involves the routing of special chemicals through the bloodstream to kill the cancer cells. Prior to surgery, doctors sometimes use chemotherapy to shrink the tumor to make removal easier.
Doctors do not generally use radiation therapy to treat ovarian cancer, advises the ASCO; however, they sometimes use it when ovarian cancer recurs. Radiation involves the use of high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells.