If you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, your provider will probably refer you to a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of cancer. You may also be referred to a surgeon. Your providers will discuss the pros and cons of different treatment options, and determine the appropriate treatment plan for your condition. Treatment generally begins within a few weeks of diagnosis, after you’ve had time to review your treatment choices, get a second opinion, and learn more about your condition.
In general, your treatment may include surgery to remove some combination of organs and tissue. If both of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes are removed, the procedure is called a salpingo-oophorectomy. If the uterus is removed, the procedure is called a hysterectomy.
Chemotherapy is another treatment option for women with ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy uses special drugs to destroy cancer cells. In some cases, chemotherapy is administered before surgery, although most women have chemotherapy for ovarian cancer after their surgery.
Radiation therapy is not usually used in the initial treatment of ovarian cancer, although it can be used to relieve pain and other problems caused by the disease.
The choice of treatment depends mainly on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread.
During treatment for ovarian cancer, strategies to control pain, nausea and vomiting, or other side effects may be required. Additional treatments for emotional side effects, such as depression may also be needed.