Ovarian Cancer Treatments

Dr. Leen Alhoussan

November 15, 2022

There are a variety of treatments available for ovarian cancer. These include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Some treatments have fewer side effects and can be done while the patient is still in the operating room. These treatments also differ according to risk factors. Some cancers are curable, while others are incurable.

Chemotherapy

There are several options for treatment for ovarian cancer. Two of the most common treatments are surgery and chemotherapy. Other options include hormone therapy and targeted medicines. Patients will undergo regular check-ups and may undergo tests and scans to help determine the type of treatment and the stage of the disease. If symptoms persist or are causing concern, discuss treatment options with a specialist as soon as possible.

Chemotherapy for ovarian cancer involves taking drugs to kill cancer cells. These drugs can be given intravenously, orally, or injected directly into the abdomen. The most common chemotherapy drugs used for this type of cancer are carboplatin and paclitaxel, which are given together to destroy the cancer cells. Depending on the ovarian cancer stage, doctors may also use other drugs to target the cancer.

The most recent randomized phase III studies have provided the most encouraging data about the effectiveness of chemotherapy in ovarian cancer. These studies have demonstrated that intraperitoneal chemotherapy is associated with improved survival. However, this option is not right for every patient. It is best suited for patients with advanced stages of the disease.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is an adjuvant treatment for ovarian cancer. This type of treatment has several advantages. It can extend the chemotherapy-free interval, is a safer option for women who do not have extensive tumor involvement, and is associated with minimal long-term toxicities. Radiation therapy is also an effective option for patients with isolated disease recurrences.

The goal of radiation therapy is to destroy cancer cells by using high-energy X-rays. This treatment is rarely used to treat ovarian cancer, but it is sometimes used to treat other symptoms, including pain. It is also used after chemotherapy or as a palliative treatment.

The treatment is effective for ovarian cancer if it targets the entire abdominopelvic cavity. Various techniques are available, including brachytherapy, where tiny capsules are placed inside the body. These capsules emit radiation for short periods. Each session may last from thirty minutes to an hour. It may take a couple of weeks for the entire treatment to take effect.