Ovarian Cancer Surgery
By National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
"Surgery is used as the first and main (primary) treatment for most ovarian cancers. Primary treatment is the main treatment given to rid the body of cancer. NCCN experts recommend that ovarian cancer surgery should be performed by a gynecologic oncologist. A gynecologic oncologist is a surgeon who is an expert in cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive organs. Gynecologic oncologists and medical oncologists often work closely together to plan the best treatment for ovarian cancer. A medical oncologist is a doctor who is an expert in treating cancer with chemotherapy and other drugs.
There are two main goals of surgical treatment for ovarian cancer. One goal is to find out how far the cancer has spread… The other goal of surgery is to remove all or as much of the cancer from your body as possible. To do so, the tumor is removed along with other organs and tissues where cancer cells have or might have spread.”
It is possible to have a sample of tumor tissue sent to a lab and have it tested to determine sensitivity to various chemotherapy agents. In order for this to occur, the sample has to be taken at the time of surgery, kept fresh and shipped directly to the lab. As such, the decision to pursue this approach has to be made before surgery. The results can provide important information with regard to choice of chemotherapy. Helomics and Rational Therapeutics are labs that do this kind of testing.