Ovarian cancer

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If ovarian cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the ovary to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If ovarian cancer spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • fallopian tube
  • other ovary
  • uterus
  • cervix
  • vagina
  • omentum (a fold in the peritoneum that covers and supports organs and blood vessels in the abdomen)
  • parietal peritoneum (the membrane that lines the walls of the abdomen and pelvis) or visceral peritoneum (the membrane that covers and supports most of the organs in the abdomen)
  • diaphragm (the thin muscle below the lungs and heart that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen)
  • lymph nodes in the pelvis and retroperitoneum
  • bladder
  • large intestine
  • rectum
  • small intestine
  • liver
  • lungs

retroperitoneum

The area in the back of the abdomen that is outside or behind the peritoneum (the membrane that lines the walls of the abdomen and pelvis, and covers and supports most of the organs in the abdomen).

Some of the organs contained in the retroperitoneum include the pancreas, adrenal glands and kidneys.

Also called retroperitoneal space.

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Making progress in the cancer fight

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The 5-year cancer survival rate has increased from 25% in the 1940s to 60% today.

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