The treatment of ovarian cancer depends on the stage at which it is diagnosed. Most often, treatment for ovarian cancer usually involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Your medical team will work closely with you to determine the best strategy for your specific diagnosis.
Types of Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Many patients will have surgery to remove as much of the cancer tissue, or tumor, as possible. This is sometimes referred to as debulking or a debulking procedure, doing so may increase the chances that chemotherapy or radiation therapy will kill all the cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses medication to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or stopping them from dividing.
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer, substances made by the body or in a laboratory are used to boost, direct or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer.
A clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatment methods or to obtain information on new treatments. If you are interested in finding clinical trials, you can search the National Cancer Institute database or ClinicalTrials.gov website.
A gynecologic oncologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer within a woman’s reproductive organs. Gynecologic oncologists have completed obstetrics and gynecology residency and then pursued subspecialty training through a gynecologic oncology fellowship. Residency takes four years to complete, while fellowship involves three to four additional years of intensive training about surgical, chemotherapeutic, radiation, and research techniques that are important to providing the best care for gynecologic cancers.
The gynecologic oncologist serves as the captain of a woman’s gynecologic cancer care team. It is important to consult with a gynecologic oncologist before treatment is started so that the best treatment regimen is chosen for you.