There are three main types of cancer treatment. Your doctor will create a treatment plan based on the stage of ovarian cancer.
Surgery is the oldest form of cancer treatment. It involves cutting out all of the areas affected by cancer (or as much as possible). Some women will undergo a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, ovaries and/or fallopian tubes or an oophorectomy to remove one or both of the ovaries.
Surgery is also used to determine how far a cancer has spread and in what stage it is. Surgery is often the best cure for cancer.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It can be done as a treatment on its own or as part of treatment following surgery to ensure all cancer is expelled from the body. The current standard treatment combines platinum drugs and Taxanes.
In certain less common instances, patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer will undergo radiation. Radiation uses high energy x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams or protons to prevent cancer cells from growing, splitting and spreading. Radiation, unlike chemotherapy, which subjects the whole body to cancer-killing drugs, is local therapy that affects only the cancerous area.
Additional Treatment Options
As doctors and researchers race to find a cure for cancer, they develop new treatment options. Potential treatment options currently being explored include immunotherapy, bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplant, hyperthermia, gene therapy and hormone therapy.
Source: American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org)