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Business Structure Evaluation Process Updates

We're currently conducting an evaluation of Lee Health's business structure. Explore all available documents and dive deeper into the process by learning more here. Lee Health’s Board of Directors invites you to a public hearing, set for Thursday, April 25th in the Community Room at Gulf Coast Medical Center, to discuss the ongoing evaluation of converting the health system to a community-focused nonprofit structure. Learn more details here.

Ovarian Cancer

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is the growth of cancer cells that develops in the ovaries. The cells are capable of invading healthy body tissue and multiplying rapidly. There are two ovaries in the female reproductive system, one on either side of the uterus. Surgery and chemotherapy are typically used in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

What factors contribute to this cancer?

There are a number of factors that make a woman more likely to get ovarian cancer. These consist of:

  • Age 50+ 
  • Having ovarian cancer in one's family
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Possessing inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations
  • Never having children

Ovarian cancer treatment in Southwest Florida

The Lee Health Regional Cancer Center is helping patients all around Florida. If you are traveling from Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, or Port Charlotte, we can help you navigate the next steps in treatment options. To learn more, call the facility at 239-343-9500

What are symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer symptoms can sometimes be difficult to identify since they are easily attributed to other, noncancerous causes. The symptoms don't always become apparent until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. Examples of some of these signs are as follows:

  • Unaccounted-for Weight loss
  • Bloating or swelling in the abdomen
  • Pelvic pain
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Frequent urinating
  • Constipation

Although having one or more of these symptoms does not always mean you have ovarian cancer, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor if they appear suddenly, last more than two weeks, or make you feel uneasy in any way.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

A gynecologic oncologist or a cancer specialist will check for ovarian cancer by performing a pelvic exam to feel for lumps or changes in and around the ovaries. After the pelvic exam is completed the next way to screen for ovarian cancer is to perform a transvaginal ultrasound and a blood test.

What treatment therapies are available for an ovarian cancer diagnosis?

Every patient with ovarian cancer is given a custom treatment plan that takes into account her individual preferences and requirements. Any combination of different choices may be used as part of the treatment, including:

  • Radiation Therapy
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery

Treating Ovarian Cancer

What is the difference between ovarian cancer and an ovarian cyst?

An ovarian cyst has a sac-like form and a liquid or semisolid substance inside. As a result of the menstrual cycle, many cysts form and then spontaneously vanish without creating any symptoms. Although it is uncommon, several forms of ovarian cysts have the potential to develop into cancer. Both of these growths originate in the ovaries, yet they differ significantly in terms of their causes, underlying structure, and available treatments.

Sometimes a cyst might enlarge or press up against a surrounding structure, leading to symptoms like:

  • Sexual discomfort
  • Frequent urinating
  • Irregular menstruation cycles
  • Abdominal pressure and bloating
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Pelvic pain that can come and go or 
  • Pain during menstruating

Ovarian cysts can rupture and cause abrupt, severe pain, though this is unusual. The most likely time for a cyst to rupture is right after physical exercise or activity.

Cancer Treatment Centers in Fort Myers and Estero

The Lee Health Cancer Institute is helping patients all around Florida. If you are traveling from Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, or Port Charlotte, we can help you navigate the next steps in treatment options.

Cancer Specialists Near You

Click 'show more' to view all physicians

Cancer Support Services

  • Cancer Support Groups

    Cancer support groups are gatherings that provide a secure environment for those impacted by the disease to talk about their feelings and experiences with other cancer patients.

  • Chemotherapy and Infusion Services

    Lee Health Cancer Institute offers outpatient and inpatient chemotherapy and infusion services in Fort Myers, FL. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment please call 239-343-9500 

  • Nurse Navigation

    Lee Health Cancer Institute nurse navigators are here to help the patient and family through their cancer journey. From the moment of diagnosis to the treatment plan, our nurse navigators are here for you.

Women's Resources