• Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality of the cancers of the female genital tract. The signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer are either nonexistent or nonspecific. Women who are to undergo exploratory laparotomy without a definite diagnosis should have ovarian cancer considered as part of the differential diagnosis. Therefore, it is important that each surgeon know the current concepts of surgery for ovarian cancer. Documenting true extent of disease in those cases with limited ovarian cancer prevents the need for reexploration before adjuvant therapy. In those cases of disseminated disease, an attempt at tumor reduction should be undertaken, as reduction of tumor aggregates to less than 1.6 cm in greatest diameter improves prognosis. Surgery is the mainstay of therapy for ovarian cancer. Optimal initial surgery prevents the need for reexploration.
(Arch Surg 115:863-868, 1980)