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Hereditary Cancer Info > Cancer Treatment > Ovarian Cancer Treatment

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BRCA & HBOC
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Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Learn how genetic test results may affect medical decisions about cancer treatment.”

Ovarian cancer staging

For advanced ovarian cancers, the goal of surgery is to remove all visible disease and includes:

  • removal of ovaries, fallopian tube, and uterus
  • sampling of fluid from peritoneal cavity
  • removal of omentum (fatty layer of tissue that includes the peritoneum)

Depending on the extent of disease that is seen at surgery, it may be necessary to also remove enlarged lymph nodes, a portion of the bowel, liver or diaphragm. Surgery helps to diagnose the stage of the cancer as follows:

  • Stage I is confined to the ovary
  • Stage II is confined to the pelvis
  • Stage III is confined to the upper abdomen
  • Stage IV has spread beyond the abdomen

Many women with BRCA mutations or family history of HBOC undergo surgery to remove their ovaries and fallopian tubes.  A small percentage (up to 10%) of these women are diagnosed with a stage 0 fallopian tube cancer known as serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC).  Research on how to best treat STIC is ongoing.

Updated 9/2/15

 

 

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