Ovarian cancer is treated using surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Chemotherapy should then kill any remaining cells. 

Women whose cancer is found very early will usually have surgery only.  Later stage cancers which have spread may be treated first with chemotherapy to shrink the tumours, followed by surgery and more chemotherapy. Some ovarian cancers which have spread to distant organs may be treated with chemotherapy alone.

Treatment depends on a woman’s individual circumstances.  Surgery will often include the removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, womb, cervix and an organ called the omentum, a fatty sheet that lies in front of your abdominal organs.  This is called debulking surgery and should be carried out by a gynaecological oncologist.

Chemotherapy uses platinum-based drugs, usually carboplatin.  Cancers that have spread are usually treated with carboplatin and Taxol.

The choice of which treatment is best for you will be after discussions with your oncologist about the risk and benefits of different treatments, your individual circumstances and your general wellbeing.

Read our helpful booklet about treatment for ovarian cancer.