The Different Treatment Options For Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect due to the rarity of symptoms. Each ovary is sized similarly to an almond, meaning that the original cancerous site is quite small. Symptoms which do appear usually feel very similar to those experienced during menstruation or pregnancy, such as bloating and swelling in the stomach area, constipation, and frequent urination.
Treatment options for ovarian cancer are limited, but have higher rates of success when used during the early stages of the disease. This means that early detection is important, and speaking to a physician as soon as symptoms appear could save your life.
Once you have been diagnosed, your doctor will create a treatment plan for you. You may have the option of customizing your plan based on age, stage of cancer, and reaction to drugs and other treatments. Your medical team will usually recommend the treatment with the least amount of risk.
Surgery is one of the top treatment options for ovarian cancer, allowing doctors to remove the tumor and other cancerous tissues in the hopes that the cells will be unable to spread. If the cancer has already spread from the ovaries into the lymph nodes and other organs, additional surgeries may be needed. A hysterectomy will remove the uterus and cervix, either partially or in whole.
A salpingo-oophorectomy or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is another surgical option, requiring the removal of the fallopian tubes, as well as the ovaries. In cases where the cancer is only on one side, a single ovary will be removed, but if the cancer has spread to the other side, they will both be removed.
In more severe cases a cytoductive surgery or omentectomy may also be required. The more the cancer has spread, the more organs may need to be surgically altered to remove cancerous portions of tissue.
Chemotherapy is one of the treatment options for ovarian cancer which uses medication to kill cancerous cells. This approach uses intravenous applications to input drugs directly into the blood stream. While this therapy doesn't target the cancer directly, it can be combined with other drugs, which work together to treat various symptoms and destroy cancer.
Chemotherapy can have some negative side effects, so it is a good idea to speak to your doctor before starting any treatment to better understand the outcomes. In the later stages of ovarian cancer, surgery isn't always an option and chemotherapy could be the only form of treatment to use.
Radiation therapy is a commonly used cancer treatment, but has a low success rate on ovarian cancer. For this reason, most medical professionals won't use radiation therapy unless it is in a case where a patient is suffering from a relapse and the cancerous cells are centralized in a particular area.
Research offers new treatment options for ovarian cancer all the time, providing access for some patients to new experimental treatments. While no cure has been found for the disease, with early detection and proper treatment, ovarian cancer can be eradicated, and many patients go on to lead normal lives.
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