Discussing Ovarian Cancer Treatment Options With Your Oncologist

Ovarian Cancer Marlton, NJ

Upon hearing an ovarian cancer diagnosis, it is important to know that there are several treatments available. While chemotherapy and surgery are the most common, there may be other options that better suit the patient’s needs. An oncologist will develop a treatment plan aimed at removing the cancer and preventing recurrence.

Understanding ovarian cancer

Like any other cancer, ovarian cancer is marked by the overgrowth of abnormal cells, affecting the ovaries and fallopian tubes in particular. An oncologist will categorize the cancer into one of four stages depending on how much the cells have spread. While stage I ovarian cancer is the least serious, it should receive treatment as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, per the Cleveland Clinic, most patients do not experience symptoms until ovarian cancer has spread. Typically, the cancer will spread through the abdomen, leading to a range of symptoms and prompting patients to seek medical attention. These symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea, constipation, and other bowel changes
  • Abnormal bleeding and vaginal discharge
  • Unexpected increase in abdomen size
  • Discomfort in the abdomen
  • Pelvic pain and discomfort
  • Frequent urination
  • Bloating 

Treatment is often more effective the earlier ovarian cancer is detected. However, patients should not feel discouraged from trying treatment even if they received their diagnosis after the cancer has metastasized. It is recommended that patients at least learn about potential treatments and expected outcomes from their oncologist.

Ovarian cancer treatments

There is more than one way to treat ovarian cancer. An oncologist will look at the size of the tumor, where it is located, and how long each treatment may take in relation to the patient’s needs. Here are five treatments an oncologist may recommend:

Surgery

There are various surgical treatments for ovarian cancer, all of which strive to cut out the cancer. Since ovarian cancer directly affects the female reproductive system, surgery tends to involve removing the affected reproductive organs. Depending on the patient’s condition and risk factors, this may be a minimally invasive surgery known as a laparoscopy or an open surgery called laparotomy.

Chemotherapy 

Chemotherapy is a treatment in which the oncologist administers drugs strong enough to kill cancer cells. Most patients receive chemotherapy through an IV. However, chemo pills that can be taken orally are also available with a prescription.

Note that oncologists often recommend a combination of chemotherapy and surgery to treat ovarian cancer. In this treatment plan, chemotherapy is meant to reduce the size of the tumor, surgery is performed to cut out the tumor, and then chemotherapy is administered once again to eliminate leftover cells and prevent cancer recurrence.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a method that uses X-rays to eliminate cancer cells. It is a less popular ovarian cancer treatment because, according to the American Cancer Society, it is not as effective as chemotherapy. That said, an oncologist may recommend it if the cancer has made its way to other organs.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy involves blocking the production of hormones in the body to prevent cancer from growing. This treatment is only effective if the cancer relies on hormones. An oncologist may, therefore, recommend hormone therapy as part of an ovarian cancer treatment plan.

This usually means the patient will need to take a hormone-blocking medication, such as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists (to lower luteinizing hormones) or aromatase inhibitors (to reduce estrogen levels). Tamoxifen is another type of hormone therapy used to treat ovarian cancer.

Targeted therapy

Oncologists often recommend targeted therapy, which aims to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. Unlike chemotherapy, targeted therapy does not impact healthy cells. The oncologist will conduct tests on the patient to determine what exact genetic defect is to blame, then tailor treatment to target that genetic defect and stop the cancer from growing.

While there are dozens of targeted therapies, each is administered either orally or intravenously. An oncologist can discuss which therapy may be most effective against the patient’s ovarian cancer, as well as whether it would be best to combine targeted therapy with another treatment module.

Book an appointment to learn more today

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, there is hope through treatment. An oncologist can discuss options and help determine which may benefit the patient the most. Our team at Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center guides patients in their fight against cancer in Marlton and the surrounding areas. We want to help you, too. To schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, call our team at (856) 475-0876 today.

Request an appointment here: https://lindenbergcancer.com or call Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center at (856) 475-0876 for an appointment in our Marlton office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Ovarian Cancer in Marlton, NJ.

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