Earlier this summer we held the hugely successful Ask the Experts conference. We were joined by top clinicians and researchers who spoke about the latest advances in surgery, targeted treatment and the latest research.
Our third speaker of the day was Mr Janos Balega, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist at City Hospital in Birmingham. He spoke about the surgical care that is available for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In particular radical and ultra-radical surgery.
Here is a summary of the presentation
An introduction to surgery for ovarian cancer
- Surgical care is variable across the whole world
- Quality surgery makes a big difference to a woman’s outcome
- The order of surgery and chemotherapy is variable and depends on a number of factors. Not all women will have both.
- The ultimate goal for surgery is removal of all cancer
Types of surgery for ovarian cancer
- Staging surgery
- Primary debulking (prior to chemo)
- Delayed debulking (after chemo)
- Secondary debulking (for women with recurrence)
The aims for the best ovarian cancer surgery
- Surgery should be performed by a gynaecological oncologist specialised in ovarian cancer
- Debulking surgery can be standard, radical or extensive (ultra-radical)
- Women who are operated on by surgeons who perform high numbers of extensive surgery have better outcomes
- Some cancer sites cannot be removed but surgeons need to be confident in abdominal and pelvic anatomy and be / work with a team of good bowel surgeons.
- Good surgical cancer centres should regularly audit and publish results
- The SOCCER trial is looking at the quality of life of women after ultra-radical surgery – early pilots show it can be good.