Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the second most common form of gynecologic cancer but causes the most deaths because it is difficult to detect early. Our Women's Health gynecologic oncologists are at the forefront of research in the early detection of ovarian cancer, providing hope and better outcomes for patients with this disease.


What Is Ovarian Cancer?


Ovarian cancer affects the ovaries, the two female reproductive organs located on either side of the uterus. It represents 5 percent of all cancers in women.

There are three types of ovarian tumors, named for the tissue in which they are found:

  • Epithelial cell cancer begins in the cells that cover the surface of the ovary. Most of these tumors are benign (noncancerous). However, epithelial ovarian cancer accounts for 85 percent to 90 percent of ovarian cancer cases.
  • Germ cell cancer begins in the cells that form the eggs in the ovary.
  • Stromal cell cancer affects the cells that form the ovary and produce female hormones.

Specialized Treatment


North Shore-LIJ Women’s Health Gynecologic Oncologists specialize in surgical treatment of ovarian cancer.  The goal of surgery is to remove all or as much of the disease as possible. Depending on the type of cancer, the uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries may be removed, and your gynecologic oncology surgeons carefully check lymph nodes and other tissues for possible involvement with cancer.

After surgery, many patients require additional treatment.  Patients are often referred for additional treatment to physicians specializing in Medical Oncology or Radiation Oncology. Some of these treatments may include chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.  This care is coordinated through your gynecologic oncologist.