Compassionate Care That Centers
On Our Patients
Ovarian cancer is
cancer of the ovaries, which are organs within a woman’s reproductive system. A
woman has two ovaries, located on either side of the uterus. Each ovary is
about the size and shape of an almond.
ovarian cancer team brings together highly trained specialists who are
dedicated to their field. We provide advanced, compassionate,
patient-centered care in a convenient, comfortable setting.
For patients with ovarian
cancer, our specialists are partners in care, helping patients through every
stage of their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
Within our clinic,
patients benefit from the expertise of gynecologic and radiation oncologists,
geneticists, pathologists, dietitians, psychologists, and dedicated support
staff, all in one convenient location. We are here to help patients through their
cancer journey with compassion and personalized care.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Ovarian cancer can be
difficult to detect early because patients might have no symptoms or mild
symptoms that are mistaken for other issues until the disease has progressed.
Common symptoms include:
- A heavy feeling in the pelvis
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
- Changes in appetite or weight gain or
- Abnormal periods
- Pressure or pain in the pelvis or
- Gas, nausea, or vomiting
- Tiredness or low energy
Because there is not
one particular screening test to catch ovarian cancer, patients should tell
their doctor if they are experiencing any of these symptoms. The doctor will
perform a physical exam and take a medical history. If he or she suspects
ovarian cancer, patients will be referred to a gynecologic cancer expert at UT
We use advanced
technologies and techniques to diagnose ovarian cancer. These can include:
Some ovarian cancers
are hereditary. Women who have ovarian cancer in their families might be
considered at high risk for the disease. They should speak with their doctor
about genetic counseling and testing.
Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
We offer a variety of
treatment options for patients with ovarian cancer. A patient’s personalized
care plan will depend on several factors, such as overall health, the
characteristics and stage of the cancer, and individual preferences and
goals. For example, we offer fertility-preserving treatment options for
women who plan to have children.
If surgery is in a
patient’s treatment plan, our surgical procedures for ovarian cancer include:
- Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, which removes both ovaries and both
- Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, which removes one ovary and one
- Radical hysterectomy, which might include removal of the
In many cases, we are
able to perform minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgeries, which use
smaller incisions, leave smaller scars, and require less recovery time.
Our options for
medical treatment include:
- Chemotherapy, which
is usually used following surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. We offer
intraperitoneal chemotherapy, a highly targeted treatment technique that allows
our oncologists to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly into the abdominal
cavity through a catheter, minimizing drug exposure to healthy tissues.
- Hormone therapy, which
uses hormones to treat and prevent recurrences of ovarian cancer
- Immunotherapy, which
stimulates the immune system to help the body fight off cancer
We also offer support
services for patients and their families, such as:
As an academic
medical center, UT Southwestern regularly conducts gynecologic cancer-related
clinical trials. These research studies give our patients access to the latest
medical and surgical treatments. Patients should speak with their doctor if
they are interested in a clinical trial.