Ovarian cancer has a well deserved reputation as a disease with high morbidity and poor survival. Survival is improved by diagnosis at the earliest time, skilled staging and surgery, and individualised chemotherapy.
- Ovarian carcinoma is uncommon but is associated with poor survival.
- The majority of patients present with advanced disease, many having had nonspecific symptoms for some time.
- Primary treatment is usually surgery followed by chemotherapy.
- Certain tumours can now be treated with conservative surgery or chemotherapy alone in some instances, so preserving the reproductive potential of younger patients.
- Success in treating ovarian cancer depends on diagnosis at the earliest time, appropriate staging and surgery by skilled specialists, and the tumour’s responsiveness to chemotherapy.
- The best survival figures are achieved when the primary management is by a multidisciplinary team at a recognised gynaecological oncology centre.
- While screening tests are available, their accuracy is poor and they are not cost effective.