OVARIAN CANCER

Expert care and the latest treatment options.

 
Doctor discusses ovarian cancer treatment with patient

Meet our providers

Our team features some of the region’s most recognized specialists. Give us a call to make an appointment.  Learn more about our gynecological cancer care team.

 

503-413-8654  (Oregon)  
360-703-9870  (Washington)

Getting started

Your treatment begins with your Legacy Cancer Institute doctor recommending a plan based on expert guidelines, called protocols. Your treatment is determined by:

  • The type of tumor (serous, mucinous, endometrioid or clear cell) 
  • The location of the tumor (there are several types of ovarian cancer: fallopian tube, ovary and peritoneum, based on where the tumor starts)
  • The extent of the disease, called the stage
  • Any tests you have had during diagnosis
  • A discussion about what is right for you

Ovarian cancer treatment options

The standard treatment for ovarian cancer is a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.

Surgery. Most women with ovarian cancer will have surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. There are several types of surgery often used in treating ovarian cancer, including:

  • Hysterectomy removes the uterus and sometimes the cervix. There are several different types, including a partial hysterectomy (when only the uterus is removed) or total hysterectomy (when the uterus and cervix are removed).
  • Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy removes one ovary and one fallopian tube.
  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy removes both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.
  • Omentectomy removes the omentum, which is tissue surrounding the abdominal organs.
  • Lymph node biopsy removes one or many lymph nodes to allow a pathologist to check for cancer cells.

Legacy Cancer Institute surgeons are trained in minimally invasive techniques, including robotic surgery. These methods may help you to recover more quickly from procedures such as hysterectomy. 

Chemotherapy uses drugs that kill cancer cells. For ovarian cancer, chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery.

Radiation uses high-energy X-rays or other radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. 

  • External radiation uses a machine outside the body and aims radiation toward the cancer.

Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances to find and attack cancer cells without damage to normal cells. There are several approaches:
Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors, or PARP inhibitors, block DNA repair and may help kill cancer cells.
Angiogenesis inhibitors work to prevent the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors.

Immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to treat cancer (also called biologic therapy). Substances from the body or made in a lab are used to trigger an immune response. They boost, restore or direct your own natural defense against cancer. 

Hormone therapy slows or stops the growth of cancer by blocking or interfering with hormones, which are chemical messengers that control bodily functions such as the reproductive system. Hormone therapy is  given as a pill. 

Talk to your doctor about these and other options for treating ovarian  cancer. There may also be a clinical trial (research study) for which you are eligible. Researchers are discovering new therapies for treating cancer all the time, giving doctors new resources for your care. 

What happens next

Many cancer treatments can cause challenging side effects. Your cancer team is dedicated to helping you manage these side effects in the best ways possible. Comfort care can treat symptoms to help improve your quality of life; this is also called palliative care.

To see how well your treatment is working, some of the tests used to diagnose and stage your cancer may be repeated. Your doctor uses these tests to decide whether to stop, change or continue treatment based on the results. These tests can also determine if cancer has returned. Whenever possible, we work to stop the growth of cancer and reduce the chance of cancer coming back. 

Working together for you

Our cancer experts work together with a common goal: delivering the right care for you.

A range of specialists collaborate regularly in meetings called tumor boards to discuss the best plan for your care. Your treatment plan is made just for you, depending on your general health, your age, your particular cancer and its growth.

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 specialists. Give us a call to make an appointment.  Learn more about our gynecological cancer care team.

 

503-413-8654  (Oregon)  
360-703-9870  (Washington)