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Ovarian cancer

Cancer of the ovaries

If you have ovarian cancer, or are concerned by symptoms you’re having, HCA UK has the expertise and facilities to help

About

The ovaries are part of a woman’s reproductive system, located either side of the uterus in the pelvic area. Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the ovaries. It generally affects women over the age of 50 (after the menopause), but sometimes younger women can be affected.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of ovarian cancer icon plus

    Ovarian cancer can often be difficult to recognise. Symptoms can be similar to more common benign (non-cancerous) conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

    The main symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:
    • swollen abdomen or bloating
    • feeling full quickly when eating or loss of appetite
    • need to urinate more frequently or more urgently
    • pain or discomfort in your abdomen or back

    You may also have:
    • unexplained weight loss or tiredness
    • changes in your bowel habits, such as constipation
    • indigestion or nausea
    • pain during sex

    If you’re concerned by any symptoms, then it’s important to see your GP or consultant.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Tests to help diagnose ovarian cancer include:
    • Pelvic examination. Your GP or consultant will feel if your uterus and ovaries are normal.
    • Pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound. A scan of your abdomen and pelvis to provide images of your ovaries.
    • CT scan. A scan if your consultant would like to see your ovaries more clearly.
    • Blood tests. For your overall health, and to detect the protein CA125, a marker that can indicate some ovarian cancers.
    • Needle biopsy. A fine needle is used to take a sample of ovary cells to be tested.
    • Laparoscopy. A small cut is made in the abdomen and a thin tube with a camera is inserted to examine your ovaries.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    The main treatments for ovarian cancer are:
    • Surgery. In early stages, you may have one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. If your cancer is more extensive, you may also have a hysterectomy to remove your womb, nearby lymph nodes and some surrounding abdominal tissue.
    • Chemotherapy. This is a drug treatment given after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells. In advanced stages, it may be used before surgery to help reduce the cancer.

    Targeted therapy may be used if your cancer returns after initial treatment. These are treatments that are designed to target specific parts of cancer cells to slow down the cancer growth.

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.
Consultant in theatres

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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