Ovarian Cancer

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Nuvance Health® Cancer Institute offers sophisticated prevention, diagnosis and treatment for ovarian cancer. Turn to us for the expertise and support services of a major cancer center in convenient locations close to home.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries—almond-size organs that produce eggs (ova), along with three hormones: estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Cancer can also develop in the fallopian tubes, where eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Ovarian cancer is often detected after it’s spread within the pelvis and abdomen.

Ovarian Cancer Care at Nuvance Health: Why Choose Us?

You’re in capable hands with the specialists at Nuvance Health. We provide:

  • Experienced specialists
    Your specialists are board-certified in gynecologic cancers and completed additional fellowship training at renowned cancer centers. Their expertise means you receive targeted, appropriate care.
  • Multidisciplinary approach
    Your care team collaborates to provide effective care. We integrate best practices by reviewing cases in tumor boards and specialized clinics.
  • Advanced procedures
    Gynecologic surgeons perform many procedures using minimally invasive methods to support an easier, faster recovery. We can often perform fertility-sparing surgery as well.
  • Personalized care
    Your care team takes the time to discuss your options and answer your questions. A nurse navigator provides dedicated support every step of the way.
Genetic Counseling and Testing for Ovarian Cancer
Speak with your doctor if you have a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer. We offer dedicated genetic counselors to discuss testing for gene mutations that raise your risk of ovarian cancers. Explore genetic counseling for cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Ovarian cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages, and advanced ovarian cancer may cause few symptoms that are easy to mistake for noncancerous conditions. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Bloating or swelling in your abdomen
  • Needing to urinate often
  • Suddenly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation

Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer

We use sophisticated diagnostic resources, including advanced imaging technology and pathologists with specific training in ovarian cancers. Your team of specialists may order one or more tests that create detailed pictures of your organs, including:

Imaging tests 

  • Computed tomography (CT): We take many X-rays from different angles to produce cross-sections of specific areas.
  • Ultrasound: We use high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures in your body.

Other diagnostic procedures

  • Pelvic exam: Examining the vagina and abdomen.
  • Blood tests: Checking your blood for tumor markers linked to ovarian cancer.
  • Diagnostic surgery: Removing an ovary and testing it for signs of cancer to confirm a diagnosis.
  • CT-guided biopsy: Uses a CT scan to find an abnormal area in the body and help guide the removal of a sample of tissue from that area

Ovarian Cancer Treatment

We offer comprehensive treatment for ovarian cancer, including:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor or affected organs. 
  • Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells or stop their growth. Medical oncology, a group of treatments that use drugs and other substances to fight cancer cells. Read more about chemotherapy and other medical oncology.
  • Radiation therapy uses rays of energy to shrink the cancer or remove traces of cancer that remain after surgery. Explore radiation therapy.
  • Supportive care may include assistance from social workers and therapies to reduce the side effects of treatment. Find out more about supportive therapies.
  • Clinical trials can provide eligible patients access to novel treatments not yet widely available. Learn more about clinical trials and research.
  • HIPEC procedure: We’re among only a handful of local providers to perform HIPEC, an innovative, targeted treatment for ovarian cancer that has spread to the abdomen. HIPEC stands for Hyperthermic (or Heated) Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy.
    After your surgeon removes visible tumors, HIPEC delivers heated chemotherapy directly into your abdomen to destroy any traces of cancer. HIPEC allows for stronger treatment doses because it doesn’t circulate throughout the body like traditional chemotherapy. Heating the chemo drugs helps your body absorb them more effectively.

Advanced Surgery for Ovarian Cancer

In some cases, we can perform surgeries using minimally invasive methods to help make your recovery faster and easier. These options include:

  • Laparoscopy: We make small incisions in the abdomen and use a thin, flexible instrument with a camera on the tip to guide the procedure.
  • Robotic surgery: Your surgeon uses a robotic system to assist in laparoscopic procedures. The robot allows us to operate using 3D vision and precise movements.