Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Treatment

Massey’s Gynecologic Oncology Center is led by board-certified gynecologic oncologists who are uniquely trained to diagnosis cancers, perform surgery, administer radiation and provide follow-up treatment. With these highly qualified individuals, your care is closely managed.

Treatment for ovarian cancer

Specific treatment for ovarian cancer will be determined by your physician based on:

  • Your age, overall health and medical history.
  • Extent of the disease.
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies.
  • Expectations for the course of the disease.
  • Your opinion, preference or goals.

Ovarian cancer is generally treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy:

  • Surgery – the best outcomes for ovarian cancer are seen in women who undergo complete staging and removal of areas of spread. Surgery for ovarian cancer may include:

    • Salpingo-oophorectomy – surgery to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
    • Hysterectomy – surgical removal of the uterus.
    • Lymph node dissection – removal of lymph nodes from the pelvis and paraortic areas.
    • Debulking – removal of tumors in the abdomen.
    • Omentectomy – removal of the fatty apron that hangs down from the stomach.
    • Appendectomy – removal of the appendix.
    • Other procedures – sometimes ovarian cancer surgery includes removal of a portion of the intestine, spleen and/or liver.
  • Chemotherapy – the use of anti-cancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cells’ ability to grow or reproduce. Different groups of drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells.

Most commonly ovarian cancer is treated with a combination of two drugs given every three to four weeks for six to eight treatments. These drugs may include:

  • A taxane, such as Taxol or Taxotere.
  • A platinum, such as Carboplatin or Cisplatin.

Clinical trials
Ask your physician if a clinical trial exists for your particular situation.