When abnormalities are found and ovarian cancer is suspected, surgery is required to confirm the diagnosis. This may be done by or in consultation with a doctor who specialises in cancers of the female reproductive organs, a gynaecologic oncologist.
If cancer is found, the grade (how normal or abnormal cells appear under the microscope) and stage (how far the cancer has spread) will be determined and treatment options weighed. If cancer is visible during surgery, the ovary containing it is usually removed, along with as much as possible of any tumour that has spread beyond the ovaries. It may also be necessary to remove the other ovary, the fallopian tubes, and the uterus.
Follow-up treatment usually involves chemotherapy, sometimes radiation treatments, and some doctors use CA-125, AFP, and hCG to monitor response to treatment and recurrence. Ovarian cancer treatment is constantly evolving. New drugs, immunotherapies, gene therapies, and bone marrow transplants are being studied for their effectiveness. Your doctor and/or cancer team can help you determine the treatment course that is right for you.
Last Review Date: October 26, 2014