Ovarian cancer is a disease in which tumor cells are found in the ovaries. Ovarian cancer treatment depends on the type of ovarian cancer, as well as the patient's age, medical history, and tolerance and preference for specific treatment options. Ovarian cancer treatment may involve a combination of therapies, including:
Surgery: surgeons may remove one or both fallopian tubes and one or both ovaries (salpingo-oophorectomy for cancer treatment), the uterus (hysterectomy for cancer), other involved organs in the abdomen and pelvis including lymph nodes, omentum (the tissue lining the abdominal wall) and bowel.
Chemotherapy: drugs that interfere with the way cancerous cells grow or reproduce are usually given intravenously as part of ovarian cancer treatment; in some cases, chemotherapy may be delivered directly to the abdomen through a catheter.
Radiation therapy: rarely, radiation may be used to kill or contain ovarian cancer cells and may be applied externally by directing radiation at the cancer from a machine outside the body or internally using a radioactive substance placed inside the body near the cancer
In the Boston area, patients seeking ovarian cancer treatment can find expert and compassionate care at the Gynecologic Oncology Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital. In addition to expert diagnosis and treatment, patients have access to a wealth of resources that include complementary therapies like massage and acupuncture, as well as nutritional counseling, emotional support and more.
Brigham and Women's Hospital is one of the world's leading research and treatment institutions. Because of this, the Gynecologic Oncology Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital can offer ovarian cancer treatment based on the very latest research.
Brigham and Women's Hospital is a world leader in minimally invasive surgical approaches to gynecologic cancers. We customize the surgery to your case and can offer several options for procedures to optimize your care.
Clinical research into treatment for ovarian and other cancers
Because Brigham and Women's Hospital is a major research institution, patients may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials where some of the most advanced forms of ovarian cancer treatment are being evaluated. At any given time there may be trials in progress to develop new therapies, to learn more about the genes that cause cancer, and to discover new ways of preventing cancer from developing. Our researchers are evaluating new alternatives to treat ovarian cancer such as biologic therapies that use the immune system to fight cancer and targeted therapies that use drugs or other substances to attack cancerous cells but not normal cells.