Ovarian Cancer and Effective Treatments
Cancer occurs when cells in the body begin changing and multiplying out of control. These cells can form lumps of tissue called tumors. Cancer that starts in the ovaries is called ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer can spread from the ovaries to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis. The more cancer spreads, the harder it is to treat.
Understanding the Ovaries
The ovaries are a pair of walnut-sized organs in a woman’s pelvic area. They are located on either side of the uterus. Ovaries make and release eggs. They also make the female hormones progesterone and estrogen.
When Ovarian Cancer Forms
There are three different types of ovarian tumors:
- Epithelial tumors—Form in the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovaries. This is the most common type of ovarian cancer.
- Germ cell tumors—Form in the cells inside the ovaries—these rare tumors are most common in women in their teens and early 20’s.
- Stromal tumors—Grow from the cells that make female hormones. This is one of the least common forms of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment Options
You and your health care provider will discuss a treatment plan that’s best for your needs. These treatment plans might involve one of the following methods or procedures.
A new, minimally invasive approach involving robotic surgery is quickly becoming the treatment of choice at Gwinnett Medical Center and for surgeons worldwide. A robotic hysterectomy combines the advantages of conventional open and minimally invasive hysterectomies—but with far fewer drawbacks.
It is performed using the da Vinci® robot, which enables surgeons to perform surgical procedures with unmatched precision, dexterity and control.
Learn more about the benefits of robotic hysterectomy versus the traditional open hysterectomy.
Download a FREE brochure to learn about the robotic surgery procedures offered at Gwinnett Medical Center.
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy:
- External radiation therapy—Uses a machine outside of the body to send radiation toward the cancer.
- Internal radiation therapy—Uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. Chemotherapy can be either systemic, reaching cancer cells throughout the body via the bloodstream, or regional, targeting cancer cells in specific body parts or areas. The method chosen by your physician depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.1
For a physician referral, call 678-312-5000 or click here to find a doctor (link to find a physician) and search “robotic surgery.”
1National Cancer Institute. www.cancer.gov URL: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/endometrial/Patient/page4