Treatment and Prevention of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. It is estimated that around 2000 women are affected by this type of cancer. Different methods of treatment and prevention measures are mentioned below for your understanding. Like most types of cancers, ovarian cancer can be successfully treated at an early stage. The prognosis for this cancer is good when detected at the earliest stage.

The treatment is also based on the cancer stage. At an early stage, removing a part of the cancerous cells can help in its treatment. In the advanced stages, cancer would have spread to other organs requiring multiple treatments.

1. Surgery
This treatment method is usually the main treatment for ovarian cancer. It is probably the very first treatment option. Depending on the stage of cancer, any of the following surgeries may be carried out:

  • One, or both, ovaries may be removed. If one ovary is removed then the woman can still have a chance of experiencing childbirth. In Stage 2 of cancer, both ovaries may need to be removed with the fallopian tubes. If both ovaries are removed, pregnancy is still possible by using a frozen embryo or eggs from a donor.
  • If the cancer has spread to the uterus, then hysterectomy is needed, where the uterus is removed, along with the ovaries and fallopian tubes. In such a situation, a woman cannot get pregnant.
  • Apart from the ovaries, lymph nodes and surrounding tissues are also removed during surgery if cancer has spread. Tissues near the gallbladder and other organs may also need to be removed.

2. Chemotherapy
This treatment method makes use of medications to destroy cancer cells. The drugs used for chemotherapy can be administered by injection to the vein or as oral tablets. Chemotherapy has many side effects like hair loss, nausea, bowel problems, infections, and anemia.

Chemotherapy is usually administered along with surgery. It helps to reduce the tumor size, so surgery becomes easy. It may be used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain.

3. Radiotherapy
Radiation therapy involves the use of radiation in the form of high-energy beams to destroy cancer cells. It is not used as primary treatment but may be used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that have survived the surgery.

4. Hormone therapy
This treatment uses hormones or medicines to block hormones. This helps in stopping the growth of cancer cells.

5. Targeted Therapy
This therapy involves new medications that target cancer cells without affecting other healthy cells. They stop cancer cells from growing and multiplying.

6. Prevention of ovarian cancer
Studies have shown that it is possible to lower the risk of getting ovarian cancer by taking birth control pills. Breastfeeding, pregnancy, and tubal ligation surgery are also a few other effective methods for reducing the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The overview of ovarian cancer article has presented the different treatments for ovarian cancer. The stage of cancer determines the treatment method. Successful treatment depends on early detection of cancer.