Ovarian cancer is a form of cancer that most often attacks the cells on the outside of the ovaries. Symptoms of ovarian cancer are vaguer than those of other cancers and can often be confused with common illnesses. Although it is one of the less common forms of gynecological cancers, ovarian cancer has lower survival rates because diagnosis usually occurs in the later stages. Therefore, it is important for women to discuss any symptoms they are experiencing with their doctor.
Because ovarian cancer often presents in a late stage, the treatment plan almost always includes a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Your physician will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan based on your current health and the characteristics of your cancer, such as size and location. For young women who hope to have a family, physicians at Cone Health try to preserve fertility as much as possible while still healing the patient.
Physicians and health groups around the world are conducting clinical trials and researching new cancer treatments constantly, and, at Cone Health, we encourage patients to participate in clinical trials whenever they can.
At Cone Health, we also think it’s important to undergo genetic testing, to see if certain treatments may be more effective based on your genetics, and to see if other family members may be at risk for ovarian cancer. Cone Health’s Cancer Center at Wesley Long Hospital allows women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and other gynecological cancers to receive exceptional care and cancer treatment right here in the community—close to work, home and their support networks.
Dr. Paola Gehrig is a gynecologic oncologist at Cone Health Cancer Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Gehrig completed her medical school training at the University of Florida and her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia. In 2000, after finishing her fellowship in gynecologic oncology at UNC Chapel Hill, she stayed on as a faculty member in the department.