The treatment pathway describes the journey of care and medical treatment a patient begins after receiving a diagnosis. Each woman’s experience of the ovarian cancer treatment pathway is different.
Ovarian cancer is a complex disease and your treatment will depend on the type of cancer you have, its stage and grade, and your general health.
Once you have an ovarian cancer diagnosis you will be assigned to a multidisciplinary team (MDT) of gynaecological cancer specialists. This specialist oncology team overseeing your treatment will include a gynaecological oncologist and a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
The team will meet to discuss and agree on the most appropriate treatment plan for you, which your oncologist will then explain to you at your next appointment. The treatment will only go ahead with your consent. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions or ask them to repeat what they say until you understand your treatment and feel comfortable with the next steps.
Questions to consider asking include:
- When will the treatment start?
- How long will it take?
- Are there any possible side effects?
- Is this the usual approach for my type of ovarian cancer?
- Are there other options?
- Who will be overseeing my treatment?
Once you have agreed to go ahead with your treatment you will no doubt have many other questions about your specific treatment path.
This section provides you with information on chemotherapy and surgery, the two most commonly used types of ovarian cancer treatment. You can also read about the other types of treatment for ovarian cancer, covering radiotherapy and targeted therapies (such as PARP Inhibitors), and find out more about clinical trials.
Chemotherapy is frequently used to treat ovarian cancer and may be given before or after surgery
Surgery is used to diagnose and treat ovarian cancer. Read about the different types of ovarian cancer surgery and the longer term effects
Radiotherapy uses radiation to kill cancer cells although it’s rarely used to treat ovarian cancer
Hormone therapy is sometimes used to stop some ovarian cancers from growing
Targeted therapy for ovarian cancer
Find out more about Avastin and the PARP inhibitors Olaparib and Niraparib
What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that turns the body’s immune system against cancer
Find out about ovarian cancer clinical trials taking place around the UK
Many patients find complementary therapies help reduce their symptoms and relieve the side-effects of treatment
Download our treatment glossary
Click here to download a glossary of medical terms and the healthcare professionals you may come across