Ovarian Cancer – Treatment
If your doctor tells you that you have ovarian cancer, ask to be referred to a gynecologic oncologist is a physician who is trained to treat cancers of the female reproductive system. This doctor will develop a treatment plan for you.
Types of Treatment
There are several types of treatment for ovarian cancer. Treatment depends on the type of ovarian cancer and how far it has spread. Treatment may consist of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. People with ovarian cancer often require more than one treatment.
Surgery: The doctor removes the cancerous tissue by means of an operation.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves using drugs to reduce or kill the tumor. These may be given in pill or intravenously. Sometimes, chemotherapy includes both pills and intravenous medications.
Radiation: Radiation is high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to try to kill cancer cells. X rays are aimed at the part of the body where cancer.
These treatments are administered by different doctors who are part of the medical team in charge of the cancer patient.
- The gynecologic oncologists are doctors who specialize in treating cancers of the female reproductive system.
- Surgeons are doctors who perform the operations.
- Oncologists are doctors and cancer experts in the treatment of this disease with medication.
- Radiation oncologists are doctors who apply radiation to treat cancer.
Certain factors affect treatment options and prognosis (chance of recovery).
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following aspects:
- The stage of the cancer.
- The type and size of the tumor.
- If the tumor can be completely removed by surgery.
- The age and general health of the patient.
- If the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).
Most patients undergo surgery to remove as much tumor as possible. Different types of surgery may include the following:
Total hysterectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the uterus, including the cervix. If the uterus and cervix are taken out through the vagina, the operation is called hysterectomy. If the uterus and cervix are removed through an incision (cut) in the abdomen, the operation is called histerectomíaabdominal total. If the uterus and cervix are removed through an incision (cut) in the abdomen using a laparoscope, the operation is called a total laparoscopic hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy. The uterus is surgically removed, other organs or tissues with or without these. In a total hysterectomy, the uterus is removed and the cervix. In a total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy, a) the uterus plus one of the ovaries and fallopian tubes (unilateral), or b) the uterus, both ovaries and both fallopian tubes (bilateral). In a radical hysterectomy, the uterus, cervix, both ovaries, both fallopian tubes and surrounding tissue. These procedures are done using a low transverse incision or a vertical incision.
- Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: A surgical procedure to remove one ovary and one fallopian tube.
- Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: A surgical procedure to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.
- Omentectomy: surgical procedure to remove the omentum (a piece of tissue that lines the abdominal wall).
- Lymph node biopsy: The removal of all or part of a lymph node. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope for cancer cells.
Radiation therapy is a treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. There are two types of radiation. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a substance radiactivasellada in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
Some women receive a treatment called intraperitoneal therapy for which a radioactive liquid is placed into the abdomen through a catheter.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing or stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy).
When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy).
Intraperitoneal chemotherapy (IP) is a type of regional chemotherapy used to treat ovarian cancer. In IP chemotherapy, the anticancer drugs are carried directly into the peritoneal cavity (the area that contains the abdominal organs) through a thin tube.
Treatment with more than one cancer drug called chemotherapy combinada.La way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. This type of cancer treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.