Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer affecting women in England and Wales. Most women are diagnosed at a late stage in the disease, which means that it may not be possible to cure it. Treatment usually involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy for most women.
Your doctor has told you that you have a likely diagnosis (or) confirmed diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer. Depending on what your CT scan has shown, your doctor may discuss one of the following treatment schedules
- Surgery (primary surgery) first followed by chemotherapy.
- Chemotherapy (3 cycles) followed by surgery (delayed primary surgery) and then further chemotherapy
Standard surgery (sometimes called radical surgery) for ovarian cancer usually involves removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes along with the womb and the omentum (fatty apron covering the organs inside your tummy). The lymph glands may also be removed if they are found to be enlarged on your CT scan.
Maximum effort debulking surgery (ultra-radical surgery) for advanced ovarian cancer is performed to remove all the visible cancerous tissue from inside your tummy. The idea is that it will improve survival compared to standard surgery. Ultra-radical surgery will involve removal of more tissue when compared to standard surgery. So, in addition to removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes, womb and the omentum, visible cancerous tissue is also removed from other organs such as
Peritoneum (cling film like membrane covering the inside of your tummy and internal organs)
If you have bowel removed during the operation, you may have a stoma (an opening on the tummy wall for waste to pass). This may be temporary or permanent.