Stage 4 ovarian cancer is cancer that has spread to the organs outside the ovaries namely to the liver or the lungs. A variety of factors will influence the kind of treatment you receive at this stage. This includes your age, the spread of the cancer, local control or to simply prolong your survival.
The benefits of receiving the cancer treatment must outweigh the risks of not receiving any along with a willingness on your part to battle it out. The most difficult part about stage 4 cancer is that it tends to come back and the survival rates of patients who stay cancer free is less than 10%.
This is because the cancer has spread and it becomes even more difficult to eliminate each and every cell even with large doses of chemotherapy. Here are some of the treatment options for end stage ovarian cancer.
Treatment For Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer
In this, repeated surgeries are conducted on the patient to remove the cancerous tumours or cells so that chemotherapy can easily tackle the remaining cancer cells and the cancer does not become resistant to chemotherapy.Repeated surgeries may have to be performed.
Following surgery, the patient may receive large doses of chemotherapy. In some other cases, the benefits of surgery may not be clearly understood and the patient may just be asked to take chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy For Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer
In this, special anti-cancer drugs are used to attack the cancerous cells. The chemotherapy is the first line mode of treatment for stage four ovarian cancer patients. In this, chemo drugs consisting of platinum compounds are used to target cancerous cells. These compounds are said to be more beneficial in reducing recurrent cancers and effectively eliminating present cancer cells.
These medicines are given every 3 weeks for 6-7 cycles until the cancer has gone into remission or sufficiently reduced. Despite this, very few cancer patients survive beyond 5 years without a recurrence of the cancer.
New clinical trials are now being conducted to try out and test new drugs and see their effectiveness on treatment of cancer. Advanced cancer patients can be asked to participate in trials involving new drugs in order to see how they respond.
Clinical trials are available for all the stages of cancer and the best bet is to ask your physician about the possible risks and outcomes of participating in such a clinical trial.
The thing to understand here is what will be the potential outcome of the clinical trial, how will it affect the treatment and your long-term prognosis. Only after carefully evaluating these facts can a decision, regarding participation can be taken.
It is important to understand that stage 4 ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis with patients going through years and years of painstaking treatment only to have the cancer return after a few years.
Most patients succumb to their medical ailments during the course of the treatment. The only clear-cut path to victory over cancer is early diagnosis, prevention and treatment. This improves the survival rate and reduces morbidity amongst patients.