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If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or pre-cancerous conditions or you have learned that you are at high risk for ovarian cancer, you are likely considering your treatment options. There are many types of ovarian cancer and ovarian disorders, and many will require some type of surgery. Your treatment options will vary depending on several factors, but the likely choices are:

  • Surgery (depending on stage, it may include robotic or other minimally invasive surgery (MIS); however, most women with ovarian cancer are not candidates for MIS)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation is less commonly used for ovarian cancer treatment

Risk Reducing Ovarian Surgical Procedures & Treatment Advances

Sometimes, doctors will perform surgery on women who have BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations (genetic mutations that put women at risk for ovarian cancer) or have other risk factors for ovarian cancer to reduce their risk of developing cancer. These procedures may involve removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and they can sometimes be done with robotic or other minimally invasive surgery (MIS).

Is Laparoscopy an Option for Me?

Many ovarian abnormalities cannot be treated with minimally invasive surgery; however, some women with ovarian cysts, gene mutations, or other ovarian conditions are candidates for laparoscopic surgery. Contact your physician if you are interested in learning more about laparoscopic or robotic surgery for removal of ovaries and/or fallopian tubes, ovarian cysts or borderline tumors.

Many ovarian conditions can be treated with minimally invasive surgeries (MIS), which include laparoscopy and robotics. Making surgical choices involves evaluating all aspects of each individual patient and the issues she faces, so treatment will vary from person to person.

All gynecologic oncologists at Northwestern Memorial are currently using minimally invasive surgery and robotics:

Techniques used to treat certain types of ovarian conditions at Northwestern Memorial

  • Robotic/Laparoscopic re-staging procedures for borderline tumors
  • Robotic/Laparoscopic surgery for benign ovarian cysts
  • Robotic/Laparoscopic surgery for early stage ovarian cancer and for women with BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 mutations

Learn more

For more information about the future of ovarian cancer treatment, watch the webcast Ovarian Cancer Treatment: The Future is Bright by Julian C. Schink, MD, Gynecologic Oncologist at Northwestern Memorial.

 The ovarian cancer section was made possible by a generous grant from Bears Care.

Last UpdateFebruary 14, 2012


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