After you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, your doctor will recommended one or more treatment options. The choice of treatments for ovarian cancer will depend on size, type, and stage of the cancer as well as your age and overall health.
When caught in the early stages, ovarian cancer can often be cured. If the disease had already at an advance stages by the time of diagnosis, then the goal of ovarian cancer treatment is to control the disease, or put it into remission, more treatments may be given to prevent it from returning or recurrence.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment Options
There are three main treatment options for ovarian cancer: Surgery, Chemotherapy, and Radiation Therapy.
Surgery is the standard treatment for ovarian cancer. This treatment method aims to remove as many tumor as possible, or often referred to as “debulking”.
How much surgery you have depends on how far your cancer has spread and on your general health. For childbearing women who have certain kinds of tumors and whose cancer is in the early stage, it may be possible to treat the disease without removing both ovaries and the uterus.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses medicines to destroy cancer cells or stop them from growing. The medicines enter the bloodstream and reach cancer cells throughout the body.
Chemotherapy can be given either orally or intravenously. The doctor may recommend chemotherapy following surgery to kill any cancer cells if the cancer cells have spread throughout the body. How often and how long a person receives chemotherapy is based on their stage of ovarian cancer and other health factors.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. There are two types of radiation therapy:
- External radiation therapy: This uses an external machine to send radiation toward the body where the cancer is located.
- Internal radiation therapy: This uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, or catheters that are placed directly into the ovaries or near the cancer cells.
The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
Radiation therapy is rarely used in the treatment of ovarian cancer, it sometimes is used to alleviate symptoms caused by the cancer or kill any remaining cancer cells in the pelvic area after other treatment.