Ovarian cancer is most often treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Only rarely is radiation therapy used. It is important to distinguish between early stage ovarian cancer and advanced disease because the treatment approaches are different. Your specific treatment plan will depend on several factors, including:

  • the stage and grade of your cancer
  • the size and location of your cancer
  • your age and general health


All treatments for ovarian cancer have side effects. Most side effects can be managed or avoided. Treatments may affect unexpected parts of your life, including your function at work or at home, intimate relationships, and deeply personal thoughts and feelings.


Before beginning treatment, it is important to learn about the possible sides effects. It’s also important to talk with your treatment team members about your feelings or concerns. They can prepare you for what to expect. They can also tell you which side effects should be reported to them immediately. And they can help you find ways to manage the side effects you experience.


You may find it helpful to make a list of your questions before seeing your doctor. Use the list of questions below as a starting place for the questions you might ask. To make it easier to remember what your doctor says, take notes during meetings. Or ask if you can use a tape recorder. It may also help to have a family member or friend with you. The other person can take part in the discussion, take notes, or just listen.

  • What treatments do you think are best for me and why?
  • What treatments do you think are not for me and why?
  • What is the success rate of this particular treatment for my type and stage of ovarian cancer?
  • Can I take my other medicines during the treatment period?
  • How long is the treatment period?
  • How long will each treatment take?
  • Where do I have to go for the treatment?
  • Who is involved in giving me the treatment?
  • Does someone need to go with me during treatments?
  • How will I feel after the treatment?
  • What side effects can I expect to have?
  • Will this treatment make me unable to bear children?
  • Will this treatment put me into menopause?
  • How long will side effects last?
  • Are there symptoms or side effects that I need to call you about?
  • What can I do to ease the side effects?
  • Will I be able to go to work and be around my family?
  • Should I change my diet? What foods can’t I eat?
  • Are there any clinical trials I should look into?
  • Are there support groups nearby that I can join?

Content Source: Women's Cancer Network (

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