How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?
After diagnosis and testing the patient, the doctors will recommend the application of one or several cancer treatment options. However, the only way they could properly do this if they have a thorough understanding of what each type of treatment is. Hence, cancer doctors often undergo intensive training to learn each type of ovarian cancer treatment option.
Most Commonly Used Ovarian Cancer Treatments
- Surgery: Firstly, doctors perform surgery to remove the part that the cancer has affected and some of the areas around it. However, they should only perform this adjunct to chemotherapy sessions.
- Chemotherapy: With this cancer treatment procedure, physicians administer powerful drugs to kill off cancer cells. One major drawback of this procedure is that there are times that the drug also harms some of the surrounding healthy cells. (1)
- Hormone therapy: In hormone therapy, the treatment helps by slowing or stopping the growth of breast and prostate cancers that use hormones to grow.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is one of the cancer treatment options that use high radiation doses to kill the cancer cells and shrink tumors. Furthermore, it uses high-energy x-rays to suppress the cancerous cells to avoid metastasizing. (2)
- Stem cell transplant: Stem cell transplants involve procedures that restore blood-forming stem cells in cancer patients who have had theirs destroyed by very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
- Targeted therapy: Cancer treatment often involves two or more different types of cancer treatments to achieve the best results. Furthermore, the choice of therapy depends entirely on the kind of cancer and the stage of the disease. However, staging may seem difficult in patients who did not have their first treatment as surgery because of their unknown TNP.
Other Ovarian Cancer Treatments
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment option whereby the immune system itself fights cancer and prevent it from recurring in the future.
- Clinical trials: These are controlled research studies that are done to discover new and promising treatments and procedures. Furthermore, it is one of the ways to get state-of-the-art cancer treatment. Lastly, this may be the only way through which doctors and patients get access to newer treatment options.
- Complementary and alternative methods: These methods may include: vitamins, special diets, herbs or methods like; massage and acupuncture. Doctors are unlikely to mention this method to the patients, but there are some that use them to relieve pain and symptoms or treat cancer. Complementary methods are treatments that work best along with regular medical care. Alternative treatments, however, replace the doctor’s prescribed treatment option. No valid studies have proven these methods, and some even turn out to be very dangerous. (3)
Choosing the best treatment depends on the general state of health, plans to conceive after undergoing treatment and many other personal interests. It is therefore advisable to choose the best treatment based on your understanding of the side effects and risks associated with it.
What Are The Stages Of Ovarian Cancer?
- Stage I: The main treatment options to be administered at this point are surgery and chemotherapy. This is applied in a situation where the cancer is likely to recur. Moreover, this may include the removal of the ovary if you happen to have a borderline ovarian tumor.
- Stage II: It includes a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. This is where the doctor will try to remove as much tumor as possible, and chemotherapy is recommended for at least six cycles.
- Stage III: Similar treatments for the first and second stages are administered. It involves second look surgery and consolidation therapy.
- Stage IV: Lastly, in this stage cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body making the cancer almost untreatable.