Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer refers to cancer that originates in the ovaries. An early diagnosis is key to treating ovarian cancer. However, very few cases are diagnosed in their early stages. This is because ovarian cancer has not many distinct symptoms. Treatment of ovarian cancer depends on the stage of cancer it is diagnosed at and the patient's overall physical and mental health. In many cases, two or more different types of treatment may be used together.
Ovarian Cancer - Treatment
The treatment includes:
Surgery to remove a tumour is usually the first step of treating ovarian cancer. The mass that is removed is then sent to a lab to be tested. If it is malignant, further treatment may be required to ensure that cancer does not recur. If the cancer is in its advanced stages and if the woman does not plan on having any children in the future, all the reproductive organs may be removed. The surgery is usually performed while the patient is under general anaesthesia and hospitalisation may be required for a few days after the procedure.
Chemotherapy is often used for ovarian cancer treatment. This type of treatment may be used before or after surgery. It involves administering medication through an IV to kill the cancer cells in the body. In the case of ovarian cancer, these medicines may also be injected through an injection into the abdomen. If a tumour is very large, it is used before surgery to shrink a tumour. After the surgery, several cycles of chemotherapy may be given to remove all traces of the mutated cells.
Radiation is used for two purposes. After surgery to remove a tumour, it may be used to remove any remaining cancer cells. In the case of advanced ovarian cancer, radiation may be used to manage the symptoms associated with it. For example, by shrinking the size of a tumour, it can help reduce abdominal pain. The process of receiving radiation treatment is similar to having an X-ray. Like chemotherapy, radiation may also be given in cycles. This type of treatment may also be used to address recurring cancer.
This is a relatively new form of therapy for ovarian cancer. It involves administering medication that targets the affected cells without causing any damage to the other healthy cells. These medicines work towards keeping the mutated cells from multiplying. It may be administered orally or through an IV.
Hormone therapy may be used to treat certain types of ovarian cancer such as stromal tumours. It is rarely used to treat epithelial ovarian cancer. This type of treatment is aimed at reducing the oestrogen levels and in turn keeping the cancer cells from multiplying.
In addition, there are several clinical trials also being conducted around the world to find new ways of treating ovarian cancer. In the case of clinical trials, it is important to remember that it is not necessary for the trial to be successful and that there is only a 50% chance that you will be given the new drug.