The choice of the treatment depends on several factors: your age, state of health in general, the size and stage of the cancer. After considering these important criteria, you will be recommended the most appropriate treatment to your situation. Most often, ovarian cancer treatment include surgery and chemotherapy; radiotherapy is rarely used to treat ovarian cancer.
Surgery is the most important therapy in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Usually, during the procedure, your surgeon opens your abdomen (laparotomy) to:
1) analyze the abdominal cavity and its organs in order to detect cancerous lesions and its ravages in the ovary (ovaries).
2) Remove the tumor. In some cases, your surgeon can remove several organs along with the cancer: ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. this surgery is called hysterectomy.
Surgery is often combined with chemotherapy to eliminate any trace of cancerous cells left behind during the surgery; this is important because it prevents these malignant cells to proliferate in the rest of the body.
Side effects – hysterectomy always leads to infertility; if you plan to have children, talk to your surgeon before having this surgery.
Ovarian Cancer Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy involves using powerful chemical substances to kill cancer cells. The drugs can be taken by mouth, infusion or injection. Unlike surgery, chemotherapy is a systemic treatment; it affects all cells of your body. The chemotherapy drugs designed to destroy cancer cells or prevent them from multiplying throughout the body. Most common drugs used to treat ovarian cancer are carboplatin (Paraplatin) and paclitaxel (Taxol). However, these chemotherapy drugs affect both cancer cells and healthy cells that divide rapidly, which often causes side effects:
- hair loss
- abdominal pain
- and more…
Radiotherapy (Radiation Therapy)
Today, radiotherapy is rarely used to treat ovarian cancer. But some physician can still recommend external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) along with biotherapy treatment in advanced ovarian cancer to reduce symptoms.