Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment of ovarian cancer usually involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.

Surgery

Treatment for ovarian cancer usually involves an extensive operation that includes removing both ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus as well as nearby lymph nodes and a fold of fatty abdominal tissue known as the omentum, where ovarian cancer often spreads. Your surgeon also removes as much cancer as possible from your abdomen (surgical debulking).

Less extensive surgery may be possible if your ovarian cancer was diagnosed at a very early stage. For women with stage I ovarian cancer, surgery may involve removing one ovary and its fallopian tube. This procedure may preserve the ability to have children.

Chemotherapy

After surgery, you'll most likely be treated with chemotherapy — drugs designed to kill any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy may also be used as the initial treatment in some women with advanced ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy drugs can be given in a vein (intravenously) or injected directly into the abdominal cavity, or both methods can be used. Chemotherapy drugs can be given alone or in combination.

Nov. 10, 2012