The fact that more than half of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer take the road to death must make women more aware and vigilant against the symptoms of the disease.
The most unfortunate fact about ovarian cancer is the confusion that arises with the symptoms of the disease. The symptoms are very confusing and most women do not go for a check up until they reach the advanced stages of the disease.
Ovarian cancer stage IV is the last stage of cancer and hence survival is a matter of luck. At stage IV, the cancer would have spread far and wide from the abdominal region and would also have reached other areas of the body through the blood stream and through the lymph nodes.
The prognosis at stage IV is very bleak and in most cases doctors only recommend palliative care where the patient is given only support and help until she survives. Here is what you can do at stage IV of ovarian cancer.
What Is Stage IV?
When a patient is referred to as stage IV, she will have the cancer in other areas of the body other than the ovaries. This can be tumours that are located in the lymph nodes other than the abdominal region and metastasis to the liver, lungs, uterus etc. The cancer would also have metastasised to other areas in the body through the blood stream.
Treatment Methods For Stage IV Ovarian Cancer
Depending on how advanced the cancer is, the doctor could recommend an aggressive treatment method or an alternative method which would only include pain and palliative care for the patient till her death. Chemotherapy and surgery will be considered based on the size of the tumour and whether it can be removed surgically and the remaining can be shrunk through chemotherapy drugs.
After the tumour is removed surgically, which would take care of most of the tumour mass, combination drugs will be used for chemotherapy sessions in an attempt to reduce the size of the remaining part of the tumour drastically.
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Most patients at stage IV would be too weak for chemotherapy sessions and would not be able to take the strong sessions anymore. In such cases, where the quality of life is highly compromised, the doctor might suggest stopping the treatment and giving palliative care.
This decision will be taken after assessing the progress of the patient after 3-4 chemotherapy sessions. If there is no relief and the patient’s condition deteriorates, she will be taken off chemotherapy and will be administered medications and radiation therapy along with alternative therapy to increase the life expectancy and quality of life.
Most of them lose their life well before that as the cancer at this stage is difficult to contain due to the extensive spread. Ovarian cancer is a difficult cancer to treat and hence one must devise ways by which one can stay away from it.