Supporting women with ovarian cancer

Mater is one of Queensland’s leading service providers in gynaecological oncology, including the treatment and management of women with ovarian cancer. 

Our team of gynaecological oncologists, medical oncologists, oncology nurses and health professionals are specially trained to support women diagnosed with ovarian cancer to deliver the highest quality care, support, and information.  

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumour in one or both ovaries. It occurs when abnormal cells grow in the ovary, fallopian or peritoneum in an uncontrolled way. 

There are three types of ovarian cancer: 

  1. Epithelial tumours – The most common type of ovarian cancer (90 per cent of all diagnoses) and starts in the cells lining the surface layer of the ovary, known as the epithelium. 
  2. Germ cell tumours – This type of ovarian cancer starts in the cells that eventually develop into eggs. This type is rare and accounts for five per cent of ovarian cancers. 
  3. Stromal cell and other rare types – This type of ovarian cancer includes sex-cord stromal cell tumours and sarcomas. 

Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer

There is no early detection test or effective screening program for ovarian cancer, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms. 

Ovarian cancer signs and symptoms include: 

  • Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal or pelvic (lower tummy) pain
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount
  • Needing to urinate often or urgently
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Lower back pain
  • Indigestion or nausea
  • Bleeding after menopause or in-between periods
  • Pain during sex or bleeding after.

Download a copy of Mater's factsheet here


If you are experiencing any of these symptoms persistently, you should see your doctor or call 13 Health. Remember, you know your body better than anyone else, so don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion if your symptoms continue. 


Risk factors

Some factors that can increase your risk of developing ovarian cancer include: 

  • Age (risk increases for women over 50) 
  • Family history of ovarian cancer
  • Family history of breast or colon cancer
  • Changes in the genes BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • Being of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Early onset of periods (before 12 years) and late menopause
  • Women who have not had children or had their first child after the age of 35
  • Using oestrogen only hormone replacement therapy or fertility treatment.

Diagnosis and management

At Mater, we have an experienced and highly skilled team of health professionals to support women through diagnosis, treatment and management of ovarian cancer. 

Our team

Our team work closely with you and your family to help you every step of the way throughout your journey, to ensure you and your loved ones receive the information, care, and support you need at the time you need it. 

Our specialist team includes:

  • Gynaecological Oncologists
  • Clinical Nurse Consultants
  • Medical Oncologists
  • Pathologists
  • Radiation Oncologists
  • Radiologists
  • Dietitians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Social Workers 
  • Psychologists, and
  • Psychiatrists

Ask for a referral

Ask your GP for a referral to see one of Mater's gynaecological oncologists. 

Find a specialist