Ovarian Cancer (cont.)
Your doctor can describe your treatment choices and the expected results.
Most women have surgery and chemotherapy. Rarely, radiation therapy is used.
Cancer treatment can affect cancer cells in the pelvis, in the abdomen, or
throughout the body:
- Local therapy: Surgery and radiation therapy are local therapies. They remove
or destroy ovarian cancer in the pelvis. When ovarian cancer has spread to other
parts of the body, local therapy may be used to control the disease in those
- Intraperitoneal chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can be given directly into the
abdomen and pelvis through a thin tube. The drugs destroy or control cancer in
the abdomen and pelvis.
- Systemic chemotherapy: When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a
vein, the drugs enter the bloodstream and destroy or control cancer throughout
You may want to know how treatment may change your normal activities. You and
your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your
medical and personal needs.
Because cancer treatments often damage healthy cells and tissues, side
effects are common. Side effects depend mainly on the type and extent of the
treatment. Side effects may not be the same for each woman, and they may change
from one treatment session to the next. Before treatment starts, your health
care team will explain possible side effects and suggest ways to help you manage
You may want to talk to your doctor about taking part in a clinical trial, a
research study of new treatment methods. Clinical trials are an important option
for women with all stages of ovarian cancer. The section on "The Promise of
Cancer Research" has more information about clinical trials.
You may want to ask your doctor these questions before your treatment begins:
- What is the stage of my disease? Has the cancer spread from the ovaries? If
so, to where?
- What are my treatment choices? Do you recommend intraperitoneal chemotherapy
for me? Why?
- Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me?
- Will I need more than one kind of treatment?
- What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? What can we
do to control side effects? Will they go away after treatment ends?
- What can I do to prepare for treatment?
- Will I need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long?
- What is the treatment likely to cost? Will my insurance cover the cost?
- How will treatment affect my normal activities?
- Will treatment cause me to go through an early menopause?
- Will I be able to get pregnant and have children after treatment?
- How often should I have checkups after treatment?
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Ovarian Cancer - Diagnosis
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Ovarian Cancer - Symptoms
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Ovarian Cancer - Treatments
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