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What are the treatment options for ovarian cancer?

by on April 4, 2012

Let’s see… we’ve talked about a lot of different aspects of ovarian cancer in the last 2.5 weeks… symptoms, causes and risks, diagnosis, realities, and the benefits of early detection.

We’ve covered a lot of ground; I hope everyone is learning something!

We’re in the home stretch.  By the end of the week we should all know a little bit about all aspects of ovarian cancer.

Today’s topic: treatment.

What is a woman newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer likely to face?

Ovarian cancer treatment is similar to that of all cancer treatments:  surgery to remove the cancerous tumors, chemotherapy, and occasionally radiation.

According to the Mayo Clinic, typical treatment starts with frozen tissue cell analysis which would be used to determine the extent of surgery required as quickly as possible.  Surgery often involves removing the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, nearby lymph nodes, the tumor and surrounding tissues which could be affected by the cancer.  There is a push toward making this surgery laparoscopic so as to decrease its invasive nature.

Many women may also wish to take a more holistic approach and consider complementary treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, stress reduction, and herbal medicine.  An overview of common complementary therapies can be found on the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s site here.  These approaches are meant to be used in conjunction with conventional treatments.

The American Cancer Society has a link for a Treatment Decision Tool.  Unfortunately, at the time of writing (4/3/12) it is undergoing updating and is unavailable.  I include the link for the day in the future when it is active again.

With early detection, these treatments can save lives.

– Marcy

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