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Acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal products, vitamins, special diets and meditation are examples of these approaches. More and more healthcare facilities these days are offering integrated medical approaches that combine both conventional and complementary therapies for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness. Women with ovarian cancer are strongly encouraged to seek care from one of these specialists.
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One analysis of multiple studies found that women whose surgeries were performed by gynecologic oncologists had a median survival time that was 50 percent greater than women whose surgeries were done by general gynecologists or other surgeons inexperienced in optimal debulking procedures. Sometimes referred to as cytoreductive surgery, debulking involves removal of as much of the tumor as possible. As part of the debulking procedure, doctors try to stage the disease definitively and identify the optimal treatment for the cancer.
Proper staging and optimal debulking translate into improved overall survival for women at any stage of ovarian cancer. Gynecologic oncologists have greater success in treating ovarian cancer as a result of their tendency to perform more aggressive surgery. Women whose tumors have been reduced to less than one centimeter have a better response to chemotherapy and improved survival rate.
Gynecologic oncologists also are more likely to perform the multiple peritoneal and lymph node biopsies necessary to ensure adequate surgical staging. Read more about Gynecologic Oncologists. Here are some questions the National Cancer Institute suggests you might consider asking a doctor early in treatment: What is the stage of my disease? Has the cancer spread from the ovaries?
If so, to where? What are my treatment choices? Do you recommend intraperitoneal chemotherapy for me? Why or why not? Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me? Will I need more than one kind of treatment? What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment? What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? What can we do to control side effects?
Will they go away after treatment ends? What can I do to prepare for treatment? How long will I need to stay in the hospital? Can I get chemotherapy at my local hospital since it is too far to drive to a major medical center? What is the treatment likely to cost? Will my insurance cover the cost? How will treatment affect my normal activities? Will treatment cause me to go through early menopause? Will I be able to get pregnant and have children after treatment?
Journal of Ovarian Research | Articles
How often should I have checkups after treatment? Surgery During surgery, doctors attempt to remove all visible tumors tumor debulking. Chemotherapy Patients undergo chemotherapy in an effort to kill any cancer cells that remain in the body after surgery.
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