The ovaries, part of the female reproductive system, are the glands that produce the eggs that can be fertilized for reproduction. The two ovaries also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer is diagnosed when cells within the ovaries divide rapidly, leading to cancerous growths called tumors.

Ovarian Cancer at UK Markey Cancer Center

In the UK Markey Cancer Center, the Gynecologic Oncology Team provides patients with care customized to fit their needs. Our program offers the latest in early detection, diagnosis, surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted treatments.

The Gynecologic Oncology Team includes physicians, nurses and researchers from multiple specialties. Patients are seen in a comfortable, supportive environment. Our team works together providing each member’s individual expertise to offer patients personalized treatment plans suited for their needs.

Markey has provided state-of-the-art cancer care for more than 30 years, and we are proud to be the only cancer center in Kentucky designated by the National Cancer Institute. Since 2017, Markey Cancer Center has been nationally recognized as a top 50 cancer center by U.S. News & World Report.

Ovarian cancer can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Back pain
  • Bloating and/or abdominal swelling
  • Changes in frequency or urgency of urination
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of stomach fullness
  • Menstrual changes, including heavy or irregular periods
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain in the abdomen or pelvis
  • Upset stomach

According to the American Cancer Society, five-year relative survival rates for ovarian cancer vary based on the type of cells impacted by the disease. While cancer survival rates are dependent on staging and the extent to which cancer has spread, the ACS does provide some overall five-year relative survival rates for all stages of cancer:

  • Fallopian tube cancer: 57 percent 
  • Germ cell tumors: 93 percent
  • Invasive epithelial ovarian cancer: 48 percent
  • Ovarian stromal tumors: 88 percent

You can lower your risk of cancer by taking steps to build a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ways you can lower your risk for this disease, as well as improve your overall basic health:

  • Avoid using tobacco products. Tobacco has been tied to multiple cancers, and it is responsible for 90 percent of lung cancer deaths.
  • Stay physically active. Your physical activity is related to risk for colon and breast cancer. Excess weight gained from inactivity increases the risk of multiple cancers.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. It is important to be mindful of how much alcohol you drink. Alcohol intake, even in moderate amounts, can increase the risk for colon, breast, esophageal and oropharyngeal cancer.
  • Learn about screenings. Your primary care doctor can recommend appropriate cancer screenings based on your age, personal risk and family history.
  • Age
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of ovarian, colorectal or breast cancer
  • Having a first child after age 35
  • Having genetic mutations that increase the risk for hereditary breast, colon or ovarian cancer
  • Never having children
  • Personal history of breast cancer
  • Smoking
  • Use of estrogen or estrogen with progesterone after menopause
  • For your first visit, you will be directed to the Gynecologic Oncology Clinic on the third floor of the Whitney-Hendrickson Building
  • You can register at the front desk or registration area, where a Markey team member will help guide you through your appointment.
  • Several parking options are available to patients of Markey Cancer Center.
  • Please remember to bring your patient packet with the completed forms. These items will help your doctor learn more about your case and determine the best plan for your care.
  • To meet our patient needs, UK HealthCare accepts many forms of insurance.

Clinical trials are research studies aimed at evaluating medical, surgical or behavioral interventions to determine if a new treatment is safe and effective. At Markey, we have several clinical trials and research studies open at any one time. 

At UK Markey Cancer Center, we are advancing cancer care and research to prevent, detect and treat cancer – one patient at a time. As a patient at Markey, you have a team of people looking at your individual case, applying the most recent cancer knowledge to give you the best chance of survival.

Markey has more open clinical trials than any other cancer center in the region, giving you access to some of the most advanced options available. Learn more about ongoing clinical trials for treating ovarian cancer.

Markey Cancer Center is NCI-designated

The UK Markey Cancer Center was first designated by the National Cancer Institute in 2013 – a distinction that recognizes our extraordinary ability to provide world-class care for our patients. We are the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kentucky and one of only 71 in the nation.

LEARN MORE