Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and occasionally radiation therapy. Surgery usually involves removal of one or both ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus. In younger women with early stage tumors, only the involved ovary and fallopian tube may be removed. In more advanced disease surgically removing all abdominal metastases enhances the effect of chemotherapy and helps improve survival.

PET/CT imaging has shown variable results in imaging ovarian cancer, due to variable uptake of the radiopharmaceutical in normal ovaries and increased uptake in ovarian inflammatory disease. Very small peritoneal metastases are often missed by PET/CT.

However, PET/CT has been found to be useful to guide physicians for surgical debulking, the removal of as much of the cancerous tissue as possible before administering other treatment such as chemotherapy.

In addition, PET/CT is often used in the monitoring of patients after treatment, so that the physician can determine if the treatment was effective.

A PET/CT scan can help show where tumor cells are growing, and help the doctor determine the best course of treatment

Positron Emission Tomography: Basic Science and Clinical Practice. Peter E. Valk, Dale L. Bailey, David W. Townsend, Michael N. Maisey. Springer-Verlag London Limited. 2003.