Cancer - ovaries
Surgery is used to treat all stages of ovarian cancer. For earlier stage ovarian cancer, it may be the only treatment. Surgery involves:
- Removal of the uterus (total
- Removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy)
- Partial or complete removal of the omentum, the fatty layer that covers and pads organs in the abdomen
- Examination, biopsy, or removal of the lymph nodes and other tissues in the pelvis and abdomen
Surgery performed by a specialist in female reproductive cancer has been shown to result in a higher success rate.
After surgery and chemotherapy, patients should have:
- A physical exam (including pelvic exam) every 2 - 4 months for the first 2 years, followed by every 6 months for 3 years, and then annually
CA-125blood test at each visit if the level was initially high
- Your doctor may also order a computed tomography (
CT) scan of your chest, abdomen, and pelvic area and a chest x-ray.
For additional information and resources, see
Ovarian cancer is rarely diagnosed in its early stages. It is usually quite advanced by the time diagnosis is made
- About 3 out of 4 women with ovarian cancer survive 1 year after diagnosis.
- Nearly half of women live longer than 5 years after diagnosis.
- If diagnosis is made early in the disease and treatment is received before the cancer spreads outside the ovary, the 5-year survival rate is very high
- Spread of the cancer to other organs
- Loss of organ function
- Fluid in the abdomen (
- Blockage of the intestines
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you are a woman over 40 years old who has not recently had a pelvic examination. Routine pelvic examinations are recommended for all women over 20 years old.
Call for an appointment with your provider if you have symptoms of ovarian cancer.