Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are some of the treatment options for ovarian cancer. Each option has potential side effects, which will vary -- both with the type of treatment and how long the treatment lasts. In addition, treatment may be administered locally (for example, surgery) or systemically (for example, chemotherapy). Once the treatment for ovarian cancer is complete, followup visits ensure that the cancer has not recurred.
Different types of treatment for ovarian cancer are available for women. Treatment options vary based on:
- The stage of the cancer (see Ovarian Cancer Stages)
- The type (see Types of Ovarian Cancer)
- A woman's age and general health
- Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).
In general, treatment options can include:
- Radiation therapy.
You and your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that best meets your medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate ovarian cancer treatment is a decision that ideally involves the affected person, family, and healthcare team.
Remembering Questions and AnswersMany women with ovarian cancer want to take an active part in making decisions about their medical care. It is natural to want to learn all you can about your disease and treatment choices. Knowing more about ovarian cancer helps many women cope.
The shock and stress after an ovarian cancer diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything you want to ask your doctor. It often helps to make a list of ovarian cancer questions before an appointment. To help remember what the doctor says, you may take notes or ask whether you can use a tape recorder. You may also want to have a family member or friend with you when you talk to the doctor -- to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen. You do not need to ask all your questions at once. You will have other chances to ask your doctor or nurse to explain things that are not clear and to ask for more details.
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat ovarian cancer include:
- Medical oncologists
- Radiation oncologists.
You also may be referred to a plastic surgeon.