Ovarian cancer is a cancer that affects the ovaries of a woman. Being a silent killer with around 15,000 women dying every year in America, the symptoms of ovarian cancer make it very difficult to identify the disease in its early stages. A number of treatment methods are adopted depending on the spread of cancer and the stage of cancer.
Latest Treatment Options
Surgery is the first line treatment option adopted by most doctors in an attempt to control the spread and steer the victim away from death. Surgery is scheduled in several ways after studying the extent of the tumour growth. For advanced ovarian cancer, chemotherapy and radiation therapy is done before the surgery to reduce the tumour size. This will help the doctor save part of the reproductive organs for fertility.
Hysterectomy is done when the cancer has spread to nearby areas. Again the doctor decides whether both the ovaries and fallopian tubes have to be removed or only the affected part based on the stage of the cancer.
In chemotherapy, the drug is used to destroy cancer cells in other parts of the body. This will ensure that the cancer does not metastasise or recur if the cancer cells have escaped to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy can be given orally or intravenously. It can be administered before and after the surgery based on the condition of the patient.
A new form of chemotherapy that is given to patients is chemotherapy along with bone marrow transplant. In this treatment, heavy doses of chemotherapy drugs are given to the patient for destroying the tumour cells in the body.
Alongside that, bone marrow transplantation is done to replace the damaged bone marrow cells due to the chemotherapy drugs administered. As bone marrow is involved in the production of red blood cells, they are also helpful in restoring the damaged cells back to normalcy.
Radiation therapy is a targeted treatment that is used to treat cancer cells by directly sending radiation to the affected area to destroy the tumour cells. Radiation treatment is sometimes used before surgery to reduce the tumour size and also after surgery in an attempt to prevent recurrence and also to destroy any cancer cells that may have escaped the expert hands of a surgeon while removing the tumour cells.
Many researches are going on in the area of cancer. Whilst these treatment methods may not be always successful, there are instances where some of them show great promise. For women suffering from advanced stages of ovarian cancer, where none of the conventional methods of treatment works, clinical trials are a way to test our luck and extent your life expectancy by about a few months. However, clinical trials might not always be a life saving drug and at times it can lead to loss of life as well.
All these factors must be taken into consideration when you submit yourself for clinical trials of any type. There could be serious reactions to the drugs and complications as well and one must be prepared for the same.