Ovarian cancer

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer starts in the cells of the ovary or ovaries. Learn about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and risks in our guide to ovarian cancer.

Risk factors for ovarian cancer

Risk factors for ovarian cancer include having a family history of ovarian cancer and BRCA gene mutations. Learn about ovarian cancer risk.

Finding ovarian cancer early

When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better. Recognizing symptoms and getting regular checkups are the best ways to detect ovarian cancer early. The sooner symptoms are reported, the sooner a doctor can diagnose and treat the cancer.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding and a lump felt in the pelvic or abdominal area. Learn about the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Tests to diagnose ovarian cancer, such as transvaginal ultrasound and biopsy, are done when symptoms are present. Learn about diagnosing ovarian cancer.

Grading ovarian cancer

Grading is a way of classifying ovarian cancer cells based on their appearance and behaviour. To find out the grade of a tumour, a biopsy sample is examined under a microscope. A grade is given based on how the cancer cells look and behave compared with normal cells (differentiation).

Stages of ovarian cancer

Staging is a way of describing or classifying a cancer based on the extent of cancer in the body. The most common staging system for ovarian cancer is the FIGO system.

If ovarian cancer spreads

Cancer cells have the potential to spread from the ovary to other parts of the body where they can grow into new tumours. This process is called metastasis. The tumours are also called metastasis (singular) or metastases (plural).

Prognosis and survival in ovarian cancer

Women with ovarian cancer may have questions about their prognosis and survival. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with a person’s medical history, type of cancer, stage, characteristics of the cancer, treatments chosen and response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

Treatments for ovarian cancer

Treatments for ovarian cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy. Learn about treatment plans and options for ovarian cancer.

Supportive care for ovarian cancer

Supportive care helps women meet the physical, practical, emotional and spiritual challenges of ovarian cancer. It is an important part of cancer care. There are many programs and services available to help meet the needs and improve the quality of life of women living with cancer and their loved ones, especially after treatment has ended.

Research in ovarian and fallopian tube cancers

Our knowledge of cancer is always expanding. Researchers and healthcare professionals take the knowledge gained from research studies and use it to develop better practices that will help prevent, detect and treat ovarian cancer, as well as improve the quality of life of people with ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer statistics

Ovarian cancer is the 3rd most common female reproductive cancer in Canada. Learn about statistics for ovarian cancer.