Ovarian Cancer Center

Ovarian cancer is a silent killer. Every year in the United States, about 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,500 die, according to the National Cancer Institute. The reason for the low survival rate is that the disease often goes undiagnosed until it has spread far beyond the ovaries.

The physicians at the UC Irvine Health Ovarian Cancer Center are dedicated to reversing those numbers.

Our nationally regarded specialists offer you or your loved one the latest medical and surgical treatments for ovarian cancer. They also participate in numerous leading-edge national clinical trials aimed at finding a cure.

Our aggressive approach to treating more advanced stages of the disease includes surgical removal of visible signs of cancer, called cytoreductive surgery, paired with HIPEC, or hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy, a novel treatment targeting microscopic cells that could spread elsewhere.

We also have the only high-risk ovarian cancer screening and survivorship program in Orange County.

If you suspect you have ovarian cancer, our gynecologic oncologists act swiftly to give you a thorough evaluation and work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.

To make an appointment, call 714-456-8000.

Early detection and diagnosis provide a woman’s best chance to combat ovarian cancer.

Symptoms

You should see a physician if you experience:
  • Pressure or fullness in the pelvis
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Changes in bowel and bladder patterns that continue or worsen over a period of weeks or months

Learn more about ovarian cancer symptoms › 

Diagnosis

The following imaging tests are most often used to detect signs of ovarian cancer:

  • A pelvic ultrasound, which can show an ovarian mass or cyst
  • A computed tomography (CT) scan for a more detailed image of the ovaries and other organs in the pelvis, abdomen and chest
  • A combined positron emission tomography (PET) and CT scan to detect the higher metabolic activity of cancer cells

Other tests include:

  • Blood tests for cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) and OVA1, which measures five proteins with levels that could be cause for concern
  • A biopsy to obtain samples of the mass as well as fluid in the pelvic area

Treatments

Women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer usually require a mix of treatment options, including:
  • Risk-reducing surgery
  • Laparoscopic or robot-assisted surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radical cytoreductive (“debulking”) surgery
  • Multi-agent chemotherapy (before or after surgery)

We also are continually developing and testing new treatment approaches, including HIPEC, or hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy. This involves bathing the abdominal area with a heated chemotherapy solution immediately after debulking surgery.  

Learn more about HIPEC in the treatment of gynecologic cancers ›

Other services

The Ovarian Cancer Center offers the only high-risk ovarian cancer screening and survivorship program in Orange County. 

Our specialists evaluate women who may be at higher risk for the disease at Ann's Clinic. Ann S. Dobbie, the clinic’s namesake, passed away on Christmas Day 1999, less than six months after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 65. Her children created the Queen of Hearts Foundation in her memory and have supported UC Irvine Health ovarian cancer research and clinical care.

Expertise matters

Numerous studies show better clinical and economic outcomes among ovarian cancer patients who are treated by experienced gynecologic oncology specialists at high-volume centers, rather than by general practice gynecologists or surgeons.

At the UC Irvine Health Ovarian Cancer Center, our physicians work tirelessly to provide the most advanced, personalized and compassionate care to women with ovarian cancer in Orange County, Southern California and beyond.

The center’s nationally regarded gynecologic oncologists not only are among the most experienced at treating ovarian cancer and related diseases of the female reproductive organs, they also bring that expertise to their research for effective treatments.

Their clinical skills, research achievements and publications are a key reason why UC Irvine Medical Center has been ranked among the nation’s top hospitals for gynecology services by U.S. News & World Report.

Learn more about UC Irvine Health Gynecologic Oncology Services ›

Formed in 2012 in collaboration with the Queen of Hearts Foundation, an Orange County-based nonprofit organization, the Ovarian Cancer Center delivers patient-centered care with a multidisciplinary team of gynecologic oncologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, imaging experts and epidemiologists—as well as highly skilled nurses and other healthcare personnel.

We also are part of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only center in Orange County designated by the National Cancer Institute for providing the highest level of care and research excellence.

View our Ovarian Cancer FAQs ›

The UC Irvine Health Ovarian Cancer Center clinicians and researchers are specialists in their respective fields who bring a wealth of expertise in the study and effective treatment of ovarian cancer and related gynecologic diseases.

Our multidisciplinary team includes gynecologic oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, epidemiologists and medical researchers, as well as experienced nurses, clinical staff and social workers. We work together to ensure that our state-of-the-art care is tailored to your needs.

Our specialists include:

Gynecologic oncologists

Surgical oncologists

Radiologists

Epidemiologists

  • Hoda Anton-Culver, PhD
  • Agyrios Ziogas, PhD

For more information or to make an appointment, please call us at 714-456-8000.

Make an Appointment

714-456-8000

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