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Ovarian cancer

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If ovarian cancer spreads

Cancer cells have the potential to spread from the ovary to other parts of the body where they can grow into new tumours. This process is called metastasis. The tumours are also called metastasis (singular) or metastases (plural). Metastases are also called secondary tumours.

Understanding the usual progression of cancer helps the doctor to predict its probable course, plan treatment and anticipate further care.

The most common sites where ovarian cancer spreads are:

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


Researcher Dr Miriam Rosin Dr Miriam Rosin’s research is helping describe the link between HPV and oral cancer.

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Clinical trial discovery improves quality of life

Illustration of test tubes

A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.

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