Avastin (Bevacizumab)

  • A form of immunotherapy that is used to treat ovarian cancer.
  • Immunotherapies work by helping the person’s immune system attack the ovarian cancer cells.
  • Avastin is an injectable drug

Bowel obstruction

  • A gastrointestinal condition in which digested material is prevented from passing normally through the bowel. This is the most common complication of patients with ovarian cancer.

Bowel resection

  • The removal of part of the cancerous bowel to reduce the chance of recurrence or cancer development.

BRCA 1 & 2

  • BRCA stands for Breast Cancer susceptibility gene.

  • The two genes are BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.

  • Normally these genes prevent a person from developing cancer. However, sometimes a pathogenic variant in one of these genes can occur which make a person at higher risk to develop breast and ovarian cancer.

CA 125

  • A biomarker expressed by ovarian cancer that can be detected via blood tests.
  • A test to measure the amount of CA 125 protein in the blood.
  • CA 125 stands for Cancer Antigen 125 and is a protein made in certain cancers.
  • The test can be used for early detection of ovarian cancer in high risk individuals but can still miss the disease since there is no accurate test.


  • Anyone who provides physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or logistical support to a loved one with a chronic, disabling, or life threatening illness.
  • Often times the caregiver is a family member or friend.



  • The surgical removal of the largest part, or ‘bulk’, of a malignant tumor so that what is left can be more easily treated by other means.
  • Debulking in ovarian cancer is advised when the cancer has spread throughout the abdomen.
  • This surgery does not remove all cancerous cells and may affect other organs, or small parts of other organs may need to be removed.
  • Most women stay in the hospital for 3-7 days after the operation.


  • Epidural is an anesthesia that blocks pain in a particular region of the body. This can be used for ovarian surgeries.

Genetic Condition

  • A disease or set of symptoms that run in families.


  • Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy drug that is delivered directly to the abdomen during surgery and which circulates throughout the body.

  • During the treatment, the patient’s chest cavity temperature raises to between 105-107.6° F.

  • This treatments is used to treat tumors too advanced for surgical removal but remain confined to a single organ or region of the body.


  • A home providing care for the sick, especially for the terminally ill.

  • Hospice can included services provided to sick individuals in their own home.


  • HPV, or the Human Papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection.

  • Infection causes warts in various parts of the body depending on the strain of the virus and the site of infection.

  • HPV can be prevented with a vaccination, but some types can lead to cervical cancer.


  • Immunotherapy is the treatment of disease by activating or suppressing a person’s immune system.

  • In regards to ovarian cancer, the body’s immune system is activated to target the cancer cells in ovaries.


  • A method of receiving an ovarian cancer treatment – either immunotherapy or chemotherapy – that involves an IV.


  • A surgical incision into the abdominal cavity, for ovarian cancer diagnosis or preparation for ovarian surgery.

Leak (after surgery)

  • After the removal of cancerous cells from the intestines, which can be done to prevent ovarian cancer recurrence, there can be leakage after surgery.

  • The risk is 1%-26% and can be life threatening.

  • Possible symptoms include:

    • Rapid heart rate,

    • Fever,

    • Stomach pain,

    • Nausea,

    • Vomiting,

    • Decreased urine output, and

    • Low blood pressure.


  • The removal of lymph nodes to prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

Lynch Syndrome

  • A genetic condition that can lead to a high risk of multiple cancers, including ovarian, colorectal, endometrial, stomach, small bowel, liver, urinary tract, brain and skin cancer.


  • Metastasis is the term for cancer when it spreads to a different part of the body.

  • This usually occurs when the tumor breaks apart and travels through the bloodstream.

  • For example, someone with ovarian cancer may develop liver cancer as well.


  • Neuropathy is a side effect of radiation or chemotherapy.

  • It is a nerve disorder that can cause weakness, numbness, tingling and pain.

  • Symptoms usually persist, but may lessen.

  • There are treatments available to help manage symptoms.

Palliative Care

  • Specialized medical care given to the terminally ill to keep them comfortable.

Pap smear

PARP inhibitor

  • PARP is a targeted cancer therapy that inhibits the PARP protein in ovarian cancer cells.

  • By inhibiting PARP within ovarian cancer cells, it is very hard for tumor cells to survive.

Pathogenic Variant (formerly mutation)

  • A pathogenic variant is a mistake or a change in a person’s DNA.

  • For instance, in ovarian cancer, some people inherit the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 pathogenic variant.

Peritoneal Cancer

  • The peritoneal cavity is the lining of the abdomen, in rare cases these cells can become cancerous.

  • When these cells metastasize, they can cause ovarian cancer.


  • A device that creates an access point in the chest, pelvis or arm in which blood can be sampled or drugs delivered.



  • In the case of ovarian cancer, recurrence is when the cancer cells have returned.


  • A cancer survivor is a person with cancer of any type, including ovarian cancer, who is still living.
  • TEAL’s definition of an Ovarian Cancer Survivor: an “Amazing Lady” who at any time in her life has been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer whether she is currently a patient in treatment or cancer free. It could have been yesterday or 50 years ago.

Tap blocks

  • Ultrasound-guided surgery that is used to remove ovaries or ovarian tumors.


  • An anti-cancer chemotherapy drug used to treat ovarian cancer.


  • T-cells are immune cells, often called white blood cells, which will attack ovarian cancer cells in the body.

Types of ovarian cancer

  • An epithelial tumor, occurring in 90% of ovarian tumors, involve a thin layer of tissue that surrounds the ovaries.
  • A germ cell tumor, which occurs in 5% of ovarian tumors, are tumors of the internal eggs.
  • A stromal carcinoma tumor, which occurs in 5% of ovarian tumors, are tumors of the external eggs.
  • Small cell carcinoma of the ovary (SCCO), which occurs in 0.1% of ovarian cancers, can affect multiple organ systems.