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Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer

Chemotherapy (chemo) uses drugs to destroy ovarian cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body to the cancer cells. Chemo may be used:

  • Before surgery—to shrink the tumor
  • After surgery—to kill any remaining cancer cells and lower the risk of return
  • To help ease symptoms and lengthen survival—for cancer that has spread

Chemo may also be used with other treatments. Examples are radiation, other medicines, or hormone blocking therapy.


  • Chemotherapy for advanced ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal carcinoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/chemotherapy-for-advanced-ovarian-fallopian-tube-and-primary-peritoneal-carcinoma. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • Chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/treating/chemotherapy.html. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • Ovarian cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/ovarian-cancer. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • Ovarian cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/gynecologic-tumors/ovarian-cancer. Accessed March 23, 2022
  • Ovarian epithelial, fallopian tube, nd primary peritoneal cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/ovarian/patient/ovarian-epithelial-treatment-pdq#section/_156. Accessed March 23, 2022.


  • Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.