OVARIAN CANCER

Expert ovarian cancer care focused on your needs.

Doctor and patient talk about x-ray

What you need to know

Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries, where eggs are produced. The ovaries are made up by three types of cells, each of which can develop into a different type of cancer. Most tumors are benign and never spread beyond the ovary. But malignant (cancerous) tumors can grow and spread and need expert diagnosis and treatment.

One in 79 women is at risk for ovarian cancer, and white women are more at risk than African-American women. The disease mostly happens in women who are older. About half the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are over 63.

The good news is that the rate of women being diagnosed with ovarian cancer has been falling over the past 20 years.

Meet our providers

Our team features some of the region’s most recognized women’s cancer specialists. Learn more about our gynecological cancer care team. 

Understand your diagnosis

At this point, you’ve likely had a physical exam and reviewed your health history with your provider. You may have also had a biopsy to confirm your diagnosis. Following a diagnosis of  ovarian cancer, you may have more tests to help your doctor understand your cancer stage. 

Cancer staging involves identifying where the cancer is located, if or where it has spread and if it is affecting other parts of your body. Knowing the stage allows your doctor to develop your personalized treatment plan. 

Some tests your doctor may now recommend include:

  • CA 125 assay: A blood test that measures the level of CA 125, sometimes a sign of ovarian cancer.
  • Chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI or positron emission tomography (PET): Imaging technology to look inside the body.
  • Pelvic exam: The doctor will inspect the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and rectum.  

Customized treatment plans

Because each person and every cancer is different, your doctor uses your tests and exams to come up with an individual treatment plan. How long this takes depends on how complex your case is and your treatment goals. During this time, you build a relationship with your cancer doctors. You become a team for your care.

Open, honest communication can only benefit your relationship with your doctors. These tips can also help you get the most from this partnership:

  • Prepare in advance: Write down your questions ahead of your visits. A few examples of smart questions:
               - Why are we doing these tests?
               - Why do you think this treatment is right?
               - What side effects might this treatment cause?
  • Find trustworthy resources: If you’re looking to learn more, rely on this website or sources your team recommends, so you can make decisions based on good information.
  • Take a partner: Bringing a friend or family member to appointments can make you feel more confident and help you remember important details.

Treatment options

There are several ways to treat ovarian cancer depending on the type and location of the tumor(s). Options may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Women often receive a combination of treatments. Some patients may be candidates for our advanced brachytherapy program, hormone or targeted therapy. Robotic-assisted hysterectomy may be right for others.

Talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial (research study) may be right for you. Learn more about your treatment options. 

More support

You are not alone. Legacy offers support throughout your cancer journey, as well as care for your emotional, social and spiritual needs.

Nurse navigators
Legacy Cancer Healing Center 
Support groups and classes
Cancer rehabilitation 
Survivorship services

Meet our providers

Our team features some of the region’s most recognized women’s cancer specialists. Learn more about our gynecological cancer care team.