Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?

Two middle aged women

If your doctor says that you have ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancers, ask to be referred to a gynecologic oncologist—a doctor who was trained to treat cancers of a woman’s reproductive system. Gynecologic oncologists can perform surgery on and give chemotherapy (medicine) to women with ovarian cancer. Your doctor can work with you to create a treatment plan.

Types of Treatment

Treatment for ovarian cancer usually involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.

  • Surgery: Doctors remove cancer tissue in an operation.
  • Chemotherapy: Using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given in your veins, or sometimes both.

Different treatments may be provided by different doctors on your medical team.

  • Gynecologic oncologists are doctors who have been trained to treat cancers of a woman’s reproductive system. They perform surgery and give chemotherapy (medicine).
  • Surgeons are doctors who perform operations.
  • Medical oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with medicine (chemotherapy).

Visit the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for more information about ovarian cancer treatment.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials use new treatment options to see if they are safe and effective. If you have cancer, you may want to take part. Visit the sites listed below for more information.

Which Treatment Is Right for Me?

Choosing the treatment that is right for you may be hard. Talk to your cancer doctor about the treatment options available for your type and stage of cancer. Your doctor can explain the risks and benefits of each treatment and their side effects. Side effects are how your body reacts to drugs or other treatments.

Sometimes people get an opinion from more than one cancer doctor. This is called a “second opinion.” Getting a second opinion may help you choose the treatment that is right for you.