• Chemotherapy is treatment with drugs that destroy cancer cells. If the cancer has spread beyond your ovary, you will probably be given chemotherapy after surgery. Sometimes, chemotherapy is given before surgery if your doctor thinks that you are not strong enough to have an operation when your cancer is first diagnosed.

• Chemotherapy drugs are also poisonous to normal cells, and might cause side-effects such as temporary hair loss. Blood cells are also damaged, so you may need blood transfusions and drugs to stop infections. Chemotherapy is given in 'cycles' to allow your normal cells to recover between treatments. Chemotherapy may make you feel sick, but there are effective anti-sickness drugs that can prevent this.

• New chemotherapy drugs and combinations are constantly being developed and tested. Currently, the majority of patients are offered carboplatin together with paclitaxel (Taxol®). Some patients are suitable to receive carboplatin alone.

• It is usual for chemotherapy to be given by a drip every 3 weeks for six treatments. If the cancer returns or does not respond to the chemotherapy, other treatments may be effective.

• Your specialist and chemotherapy nurses will tell you about your treatment and the specific side-effects that you might expect.