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Ovarian Cancer Therapy

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Ovarian cancer therapy is a treatment options given to the cancer patients. This is a type of medication which is provided to the patients who cannot undergo a surgery due to several reasons. These therapies are very useful because they are meant for killing all the cancerous cells from the body. There are two types of therapies, which can be used for treating melanoma. They are as follows:

  • Chemotherapy: -

    Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer present in the body. This is a therapy which works very well after the treatment is given via surgery. This therapy helps to kill the cancerous cells left behind in the body. The drugs which are used in this therapy prevent the cancerous cells from multiplying. The healthy cells which are or may be affected during this therapy is given to the patients are: - cells of hair follicles, red and white blood cells and cells of digestive tract platelets which are blood clotting agents for the body.

    The side effects of chemotherapy are: -

    1. Nausea
    2. Hair loss
    3. Diarrhea
    4. Continuous vomiting
    5. Low appetite
    6. Rashes on the hand and feet
    7. Mouth sores
    8. Thrombocytopenia - the number of platelets is reduced which may lead to bleeding
    9. Tiredness
    10. Anemia
    11. Damage to the nerve or the kidneys
    12. Leucopenia - the number of white blood cells is reduced which can lead to infection

    The side effects will differ from every woman. The side effects will depend upon the type of drugs which are given to the woman. This will depend on: -

    1. The type of drugs consumed during the therapy
    2. The quantity of every drug consumed
    3. The response of the body to the drug
    4. The length of the treatment

    Drugs such as antiemetic are used to prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting. For many, chemotherapy looks like a never ending process because the side effects of this therapy can last for a very long duration.

  • Radiation Therapy: -

    Radiotherapy uses radiation of rays; these rays are high-energy x-rays which are used to kill cancer cells and many a times shrink the tumors. For ovarian cancer, 3 types of radiotherapy are available:

    • External: - This is a therapy where in a machine is kept outside the body to focus radiation onto the cancer affected site. This is a therapy which is given 5 days a week but the duration of the session is very small. Patients are exactly lined up on the machine so that the radiation is aimed accurately at the cancer site.

    • Internal - Certain materials which produce radiations are put into the cancer affected area. This type of therapy is done when the cancer is small in size.

    • Intraperitoneal - A radioactive liquid is placed in the abdomen with the help of a catheter. The liquid spreads automatically and kills the cancerous cells of the body.

Like chemotherapy, radiation therapy too has a lot of side effects. Most of them are similar to the side effects of chemotherapy.

The side effects of radiation therapy are as follows: -

  1. Fatigue
  2. Swelling
  3. Skin irritation
  4. Nausea
  5. Pain in the abdomen
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Irritable bladder
  8. Obstruction of the small bowel
  9. Skin darkening on the area where the therapy is given

Radiotherapy also has a few short term or long term effects in the bladder and bowel function. It is important to keep in mind that this is a therapy which can have issues for a very long time and one should be aware of all the consequences.

Ovarian cancer therapy is given to the patients who the doctor feels that the cancer has not completely vanished from the body. These therapies are often given in combinations and sometimes they are performed before the main treatment, i.e. before the surgery for ovarian cancer takes place. The spread of the cancer will decide the type of therapy given to the patients.

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