Treatment & Therapies
There are a wide variety of treatments and therapies available for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The primary treatments and therapies for ovarian cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In some cases, two or even all these treatments may be recommended. Make sure you seek the opinion of an experienced gynecologist and remember to ask what options could work for you. Work with your medical team to determine the right pathway for you.
If diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the scope of the surgery you may require and the impact it may have on your future fertility is a function of your overall health and the extent to which the cancer has spread. For the 19% of women whose cancer is detected before spreading substantially, surgery may be limited to just the affected ovary or ovaries. In cases where cancer has spread beyond the ovaries, more extensive surgery may be necessary. Having an experienced gynecologic oncologist perform your surgery can help ensure that your cancer is appropriately and effectively staged and debulked the first time.
Types of surgery may include:
- Hysterectomy(removing the uterus)
- Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy(removing both ovaries and both fallopian tubes)
- Omentectomy(removing the omentum, an apron of fatty tissue on the abdomen)
- Lymphadenectomy(removing the lymph nodes)
Bringing Strength to a Sensitive Situation
For certain women with ovarian cancer, the treatment can be just as difficult to tolerate as the disease. Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer actively supports the Desensitization Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to prescribed medications or chemotherapy can stand in the way of proper treatment. Through this extremely innovative program, women with ovarian cancer can overcome sensitivity to therapy and receive the treatment so vital to survival. After all, just because women are sensitive, it doesn’t mean we can’t be strong.