Ovarian Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Is the Treatment for Ovarian Cancer?
Treatment of ovarian cancer should be under the direction of an experienced gynecologic oncologist (a specialist in women's cancers).
Surgery is the usual first treatment for ovarian cancer. Whenever possible, the surgery takes place at the time of exploratory laparotomy. The operation is paused while the pathologist rapidly reviews the biopsy tissues. The pathologist's report determines the structures affected by cancer and if they should be removed. This spares the woman from undergoing another surgery.
After chemotherapy is completed, the woman may undergo "second-look surgery." Her surgeon will examine her remaining pelvic and abdominal structures for evidence of residual cancer. Samples of fluid and tissues may be taken to check for residual cancer cells.
What Is the Follow-up for Ovarian Cancer?
A woman seen by her health care provider, in an emergency department, or in a clinic who is told that she may have a mass in her ovary should follow up immediately as recommended for more testing. Early detection of ovarian cancer is essential to ensure a better chance for long-term survival and good quality of life.
Following any type of surgery to remove an ovarian mass, detailed instructions on how to care for herself at home along with information regarding appropriate follow-up care are provided to the woman.
If a woman was treated successfully for ovarian cancer, she will need regular physical examinations for the rest of her life and will likely be scheduled to have her CA-125 level checked every three to four months.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/30/2016
Robert P Edwards, MD
Jana M Lee, MD
Paul Blackburn, DO, FACOEP, FACEP
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Lee P Shulman, MD
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