Surgery for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Surgery for Advanced Ovarian CancerThere are many different factors that affect the possibility of surgery for advanced ovarian cancer because it may have spread to other parts of the body. 

If melanoma has spread (metastasized) to other organs such as the lungs, liver or brain, the cancer is not likely to be curable by surgery.

Surgery for advanced ovarian cancer is called debulking and helps to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Debulking is very important when ovarian cancer has already spread throughout the abdomen (belly) at the time of surgery. The aim of debulking surgery is to leave behind no visible cancer or no tumors larger than 1 cm (less than 1/2 an inch). This is called optimally debulked

In some cases, other organs might be affected by debulking:

  • Sometimes the surgeon will need to remove a piece of colon,  a part of the small intestine, a piece of the bladder,  or may require removing the spleen and/or the gallbladder, as well as part of the stomach, liver, and/or pancreas.


If the cancer has spread to only one or a few (and nowhere else), surgery may be used to remove it. Depending on the extent of the cancer, this might help the patient live longer, or it could even cure the cancer. Deciding if surgery is an option to remove areas of cancer spread depends on their size, number, and location of tumors.

Whether or not surgery can be performed, most often other treatment will also be utilized such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or precision medicine, as well as others.  A multidisciplinary treatment team is vital for every cancer patient!