Treatment of ovarian cancer usually involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Other treatments such as radiotherapy and target therapy may also be used in certain situations.
An individual with cancer should be assessed by a specialist to determine which modality of treatment is best suited for them.
To determine the actual extent of the cancer, surgical exploration or staging is required. During the procedure, the doctor will examine the peritoneum, which is the inner lining of the abdomen. Fluid within the abdomen will be sent for assessment.
In addition to determining the stage of the cancer, the aim of surgery is to remove as much of the cancer as possible. This may include removing of ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and surrounding lymph nodes.
Additional treatment following surgery will be determined by the stage of the disease, the grade (aggressiveness) of the disease and the subtype of cancer.
For very early-stage disease and non-aggressive types of cancers, further treatment may not be required. But if the cancer is more advanced and aggressive, chemotherapy is the treatment of choice.
Some patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer may be given pre-operative chemotherapy to shrink or control the cancer before surgery.
There are new targeted drugs which can be used to treat selected cases of epithelial ovarian cancer, including drugs that are administered by drip such as Bevacizumab and oral Olaparib.
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