NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Ovarian Cancer - page 29

Part 4: Treatment with surgery
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Ovarian cancer
Version 1.2013
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that kill all cells that grow
rapidly, including normal
cells and cancer cells
Gynecologic oncologist:
A doctor who’s an expert
in treating cancer that
starts in the female organs
involved in making babies
The point
in time when no more
menstrual periods occur
Grouping of cancer
according to how large the
tumor is and how far the
cancer has spread in the
Surgical staging:
Procedures done during
surgery that are used to
find out how far cancer
has spread
See Part 1 on page
7 for definitions of
other body parts.
Surgery is the main way to stage ovarian cancer. It is also usually used as
the initial treatment for ovarian cancer. The goal of surgery is to see how far
the cancer has spread and remove all of the visible cancer from your body or
decrease the amount of cancer in your body so that only a little bit is left. To do
so, the cancer is removed along with other organs and tissues to which cancer
cells may have spread. Most women will have surgery to remove the cancer,
followed by treatment with cancer drugs such as chemotherapy.
Types of surgical treatment
There is more than one type of surgery for ovarian cancer. The type of surgery
you will have depends on how far the cancer has spread and whether you want
to be able to have babies afterwards. Ovarian cancer surgery, including surgical
staging, should be performed by a gynecologic oncologist.
Surgery for ovarian cancer is generally done using a laparotomy. A laparotomy
is an up-and-down (vertical) cut through the abdomen from your belly button
to your pelvic bone. This lets your doctor see the tumor and other organs and
tissues in your abdomen and pelvis.
Surgery to remove the ovary and attached Fallopian tube is called a salpingo-
oophorectomy. When both ovaries and both Fallopian tubes are removed, it
is called a BSO (
ophorectomy). When only one ovary and
attached Fallopian tube are removed, it’s called a USO (
ophorectomy). This is also referred to as “fertility-sparing surgery,” because
you will still be able to have babies after the surgery if you haven’t yet gone
through menopause. Fertility-sparing surgery is only an option if the cancer is
only in one ovary.
A hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus. Surgery to remove the entire
uterus through a surgical cut in your abdomen is called a TAH (
ysterectomy). It is done along with surgery to remove both ovaries and both
Fallopian tubes (BSO). You will not be able to have babies after TAH and BSO.
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