Radiotherapy for ovarian cancer

Radiotherapy treats cancer by using high-energy rays to destroy the cancer cells, while doing as little harm as possible to normal cells.

Radiotherapy is rarely used to treat ovarian cancer. It is occasionally used to treat an area of cancer that’s come back after surgery and chemotherapy when other treatments are no longer appropriate.

It may also be used to reduce bleeding, pain or discomfort. This is known as palliative radiotherapy.

Radiotherapy is given in the hospital radiotherapy department. A course of palliative treatment may be given over 1–10 sessions. Each session lasts a few minutes. The length of your treatment will depend on the type and size of the cancer. Your doctor will discuss your treatment with you in detail beforehand.

We have more information about how radiotherapy works and the different types.

Back to Treating ovarian cancer

Decisions about treatment

Your doctors may tell you there are different options for your treatment. Having the right information will help you make the right decision for you.


Surgery involves removing all or part of the cancer with an operation. It is an important treatment for many cancers.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat many different types of cancer. It is most commonly given as an injection into a vein or as tablets or capsules.

Clinical trials

Many people are offered a trial as part of treatment. Find out more to help you decide if a trial is right for you.

Life after cancer treatment

You might be thinking about how to get back to normal following treatment. Find advice, information and support about coping with and after cancer.