Surgery for Advanced Ovarian Cancer -- Understanding the Options
- Many women diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer will receive surgery to remove the ovaries, uterus, and any other areas to which the cancer has spread
- Sometimes, if the cancer has spread too widely to completely remove it through surgery, it may be necessary to receive chemotherapy first
- The surgery is a serious procedure that can last up to 6-8 hours, but for many women, the benefits are significant
“Our goal is to get all of the cancer out at the time of your surgery,” explains Dr. Matthew Carlson, a gynecologic oncologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. “If it looks like at that time that we cannot get all the cancer out, then we would stop the procedure and give chemotherapy.”Read More
In the case of advanced ovarian cancer, that surgery would usually involve removing both ovaries and the entire uterus in what’s called a “hysterectomy.” Depending on where else the cancer has spread, it can sometimes be necessary to remove the spleen or parts of the colon, too.
“This all sounds like a big surgery,” Dr. Carlson says. “And that’s true. It is… But the benefits of that are that if we get all of the cancer out, that’s giving us the best starting point possible.”