Skip to main content

Ovarian cancer

This page provides information for women, their partners and families about ovarian cancer. 

About ovarian cancer

Women have two ovaries located on each side of the uterus (womb). Ovarian cancer develops when the cells in the ovary grow and multiply too quickly, damaging healthy tissue. Sometimes these cells come from the fallopian tubes, close to the ovaries. Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynaecological cancer.

The links below provide more information about ovarian cancer:

  • Cancer Research UK
    Includes information on diagnosing, treating and living with ovarian cancer
  • The Eve Appeal
    Includes information about the key messages, the early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, leading risk factors and actions that may reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer
  • Macmillan
    Help and support for people affected by ovarian cancer
  • NHS Choices
    Includes information about symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, living with ovarian cancer and prevention
  • Ovacome
    In-depth information about ovarian cancer
  • RCOG
    Includes information about symptoms, diagnosis, stages and grades of the disease, and available treatment options
  • Target Ovarian Cancer
    Information and support for people with ovarian cancer
  • Women’s Health Concern
    Ovarian cancer factsheet

Making a choice about your treatment

There will be choices to make about the type of treatment you wish to receive. You will probably have a lot of questions and may wish to discuss your options with family and friends. To begin with, try to get answers to three key questions:

  • What are my options?
  • What are the pros and cons of each option for me?
  • How do I get support to help me make a decision that is right for me?

For more information about working with your healthcare professional to make the right choice for you, please visit the NHS Shared Decision Making website.

About the links on this page

Some of the information this page links to  is not produced by the RCOG. Our policy on publishing links to third-party sites outlines how we decide which sites to link to, and our terms and conditions include a disclaimer about the RCOG’s responsibility for information on linked sites.

Please give us your feedback

We would like to understand how people are using this resource to help ensure it is relevant and useful. To give us your feedback, please complete our short survey.

If you have any questions, please email

Elsewhere on the site

Medical terms explained
A–Z of common medical words in women’s health
About the RCOG
Find out about our work to improve women’s health worldwide