While standard protocols have been established for the treatment of virtually all cancers, physicians will often modify them for their individual patients. These modifications are based on many factors including the patient’s age, general health, desired results, and the specific characteristics of his or her cancer. Since the treatments described in this report represent the standard therapeutic approaches, your physician may not strictly adhere to them.

The goal of treatment is to eliminate all cancer from your body. If that is not possible, treatment aims to extend your comfort by removing or killing as much cancer as possible. The treatment and management of ovarian cancer may involve simple or radical surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or any combination of the above.

Surgery is usually performed first, to eliminate as much cancer as possible, but also to obtain specimens for analysis and to determine the spread of the disease. If residual cancer is present or suspected, either chemotherapy or radiation or both attempt to eliminate as much residual cancer as possible. A second surgery following these treatments may be productive, either for diagnostic purposes or to remove remaining cancer tissue.

Select a topic below for a thorough discussion of each ovarian cancer treatment option:
Surgery
Chemotherapy
Radiation
Lifestyle changes
Managing the side effects of ovarian cancer and cancer treatment

Existing treatment protocols have been established and continue to be modified through clinical trials. These research studies are essential to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. Since highly effective treatments for many cancers remain unknown, numerous clinical trials are always underway around the world. Many cancer centers are exploring the potential of vaccines and immunotherapies for ovarian cancer. You may wish to ask your doctor if you should consider participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the government website ClinicalTrials.gov .