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Outcomes of ovarian cancer

Disappearance of malignant pleural effusion (left panel) after chemotherapy (right panel) as shown by chest Xrays.

A number of factors influence the success of treatment for ovarian cancer. Treatment tends to be more successful when the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, and in younger women (below the age of 67). One of the most important factors influencing the outcome of treatment is the amount of tumour that remains after the initial surgery (i.e. the success of the initial debulking procedure). This is the reason that the surgeon aims to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible during the initial surgery.


The patients who relapse are regrettably many for only 25% of the total ovarian population present with the highly curable stage 1 disease. The decision for repeating chemotherapy would me made on prior response, the duration of remission and drugs used. Treatment at relapse is palliative, some drugs can be reused. The choice of drugs are varied and should be offered with a view to optimise quality of life.

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