The primary method of ovarian cancer treatment is surgery for all stages of the cancer. If ovarian cancer is detected early on, surgery may be the only treatment used to remove the cancer from the ovaries.
Ovarian surgery may include:
- A total hysterectomy - removal of the uterus.
- Removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes.
- Partial or full removal of the fatty layer that surrounds organs in the abdomen.
- Exam, biopsy, and removal of lymph nodes and other cancerous tissue in the abdomen and pelvis.
Chemotherapy may be used after surgery to treat any cancer cells that remain. Chemotherapy can also be used to manage ovarian cancer if cancer cells return in the future. Chemotherapy will either be given intravenously or through the abdominal cavity.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment: Where to Begin
Prior to beginning treatment for ovarian cancer, it is important to get a second opinion for an ovarian cancer diagnosis. In order to receive a second opinion, you may be referred by your doctor to a specialist. You can also contact nearby hospitals, local medical societies, or medical schools to find specialists in your area.
After ovarian cancer has been diagnosed, your doctor or specialist will be able to present you with a treatment plan, depending upon the stage and severity of the cancer.
Women that have been treated for ovarian cancer will need regular checkups for the rest of their lives. After completing surgery and chemotherapy, the patient should have a regular physical exam and pelvic exam every two to four months for two years. This should be followed by exams every six months for three years and then on a yearly basis if the cancer has not returned.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment Outcome
It is difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer at its early stages, so the cancer may be quite advanced by the time that it is diagnosed by a doctor or specialist. Three out of four women will survive ovarian cancer one year after diagnosis. This survival rate decreases to 50% of women who live longer than five years after the initial diagnosis.
If the diagnosis of ovarian cancer is made very early on and the proper treatment is administered before the cancer has the chance to spread, the survival rate after five years is quite high.
However, if the cancer is advanced, it is likely to spread to other organs in the body and cause the loss of organ function. The cancer can also cause fluid buildup in the abdomen and a blockage of the intestines to lead to other serious health complications.
Ovarian Cancer Prevention
Ovarian cancer is most common in women at post-menopause age, especially if they have a family history of ovarian cancer. Women who have had breast cancer are even more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent ovarian cancer, but you can reduce your risk of the disease by taking birth control pills, if recommended by your doctor. It is also important to discuss your potential risk factors with your physician, including a family history of ovarian and breast cancer. Your doctor will help educate you to reduce your risk of ovarian cancer.
|Cancer||Causes and Risks||Symptoms||Diagnosis||Treatment|
|Endometrial Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Cervical Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Ovarian Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Breast Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Colon Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
Source: "Ovarian cancer - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2011.