If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you might be wondering about available treatment options. Like many other cancers, ovarian cancer is best treated when caught early. It starts with paying attention to symptoms and talking with your doctor early about risk factors.
Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer
Through pelvic exams, imaging, and blood tests, your physician will diagnose whether you have ovarian cancer and determine its stage, from early stage I cancer to stage IV, when it has spread to other areas of the body. This may also include surgery, if necessary, to remove and test an ovary. Once the stage of the cancer is determined, an RGU radiologist will work with you to identify a treatment plan.
Treating Ovarian Cancer
In most cases, ovarian cancer will be treated through surgery or chemotherapy, or a combination of both. Radiation can also be used in some cases, and the team at the RGU Radiation Center can help you determine if this course of action is best for you.
- Surgery: Depending on the extent of the cancer, your doctor may recommend a surgical operation to remove one or both ovaries, and sometimes the uterus as well. If the cancer is advanced, additional surgery may be needed to remove as much of it as possible.
- Chemotherapy: Your doctor may also recommend chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill the cancer cells in the body. For ovarian cancer, this can consist of a combination of two drugs to more effectively fight the cancer and may include several cycles of chemotherapy with periods of rest in between.
- Radiation: In some cases, targeting the cancer with high-energy x-rays can help kill off the cancer cells.
Complementary Treatment Options
Many RGU patients ask about other treatment options outside of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. To fight ovarian cancer, these remain the best options. However, there are many complementary treatments that can support your health and wellbeing during and after surgery and chemotherapy. Incorporating these options can help you cope with side effects such as pain, nausea, fatigue, and stress. Complementary treatment options can include:
- Massage Therapy
- Special Diet
- Physical Therapy
- Aquatic Therapy
We advise patients to talk with their doctor for guidance before beginning any complementary treatments. Your doctor can provide recommendations based on what will support your healthcare needs without interfering with your primary treatment plan.
If you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the team at RGU is here to support you. If you would like to meet with our Radiation Oncologist to determine if radiation treatment is right for you, call us today to schedule an appointment.