The staging of ovarian cancer is divided into four stages. Decisions about treatment vary based on the stage.
The goal of surgery is to optimally remove as much of the malignant process as possible. Unless the disease is confined to the ovary, surgery usually involves removing both ovaries, the uterus, fallopian tubes and the omentum.
Surgery is typically followed by chemotherapy. During and after chemotherapy, doctors monitor a woman’s progress with pelvic exams and with the CA-125 blood test. While the CA-125 blood test is not a reliable screening tool, it does reliably indicate whether the disease is recurring in women who have already been treated.
- Ovarian cancer is confined to one or both ovaries.
- Cancer is in one or both ovaries and has spread to other parts of the pelvis.
- Cancer is in one or both ovaries and has spread to nearby lymph nodes or to other abdominal organs, excluding the liver.
- Cancer is in one or both ovaries and has spread to the liver or sites outside the abdomen.