Treatment & Procedures

Once ovarian cancer has been diagnosed and staged, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments.

The goal of ovarian cancer surgery is to remove as much of the tumor as possible, a process called debulking. A successful debulking surgery will leave no tumors larger than 1 cm. This procedure may involve removing one or more of the following organs:

• One or both ovaries
• Uterus and both fallopian tubes
• Omentum (fatty tissue in the lower abdominal area that connects, covers and protects organs)
• Pelvic and para-aortic lymph nodes
• Any other tumor bearing area including portion of small or large intestine, appendix or spleen.

Most patients stay in the hospital for three to seven days following the operation and can return to their usual activities within four to six weeks.

Learn more about cancer surgery, including the roles that different surgical approaches have in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.
Chemotherapy kills cancer cells using drugs that are given intravenously by IV or orally. With ovarian cancer, chemotherapy is most commonly used after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells.
You may receive your chemotherapy treatments in a clinic, at your doctor’s office, or if oral medication is prescribed, you may take your treatment at home. The side effects depend on the type and amount of medications given.

Learn more about chemotherapy treatment, including how it works within your body and what to expect while undergoing treatment.
Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells in a targeted, specific area. It is seldom used in the initial treatment of ovarian cancer, but may be used to relieve pain and other problems caused by the disease. The treatment is given at a hospital or clinic and takes only a few minutes for each session.

Learn more about the variety of innovative radiation therapies offered at Houston Methodist.


Our physicians specialize in managing ovarian cancer at the following convenient Houston Methodist Cancer Center locations.