When To Stop Chemotherapy For Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer may account for only 3% of cancers affecting women. But millions die every year due to ovarian cancer. Late diagnosis is mostly associated with the dismal death rate and most women are invariably diagnosed late due to the confusion that arises in the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

There is a medley of risk factors associated with ovarian cancer. Genetics, where the woman inherits the mutated genes from the parents is touted as one major cause for ovarian cancer. Other than that, there are factors like family history of breast and ovarian cancer which women have to be wary of as it points to a genetic connection as well. Lifestyle factors like obesity and diet too play a great role in contracting ovarian cancer.

Chemotherapy is one of the conventional treatment methods undertaken for all kinds of cancers. When a woman has ovarian cancer, be it any stage of cancer, chemotherapy is normally recommended as a preventive measure in order to prevent recurrence of the disease. However, chemotherapy drugs are very strong and may not be suitable for all. Being hazardous for the body, they would have to be stopped under certain circumstances.

When And Why To Stop Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can be stopped when the drugs used for the treatment starts taking effect and the treatment is a success. The application of chemotherapy is done in cycles of three to four weeks. After the completion of each cycle, there would be a gap during which the body is given time to recover from the toxic effects of the drug on the body. If the chemotherapy is successful, the cancer will soon start retracting and it will no longer be a threat to the body. When the doctor detects the effectiveness of the cycle, he will decide to stop the chemotherapy.

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Chemotherapy being a cyclic procedure, requiring gaps in between for the body to recuperate, after each cycle the doctor will decide to stop the chemotherapy whether you respond to the drug or not. The body needs time to come out of the ill effects of the drug used for chemotherapy. As the drugs also kill healthy cells along with the cancerous cells, a cycle of chemotherapy will leave the patient depleted of all the energy from their body. Stopping the chemotherapy for a period of time after a new cycle is introduced will give the body enough energy to go through the next session and help the doctor analyse your progress as well.

The doctor might also decide to stop chemotherapy if he finds that the patient does not benefit much from the treatment. Some cancer patients may not respond to the chemotherapy treatment. In such cases, the patient will have to go through a lot of suffering unduly and would be incurring unnecessary expenditure as well for a treatment that does not have any effect on her body. In such cases, the chemotherapy will be stopped and other treatment methods like clinical trials will be tested on the patient.