Ovarian cancer kills millions of innocent women every year. The symptoms are very mild and also very easy to miss due to which most of the time, the diagnosis is made very late due to which thousands lose their lives.
The late diagnosis also makes it difficult to treat and increase the risk of metastasis and recurrence. Recurrent ovarian cancer adds to the woes of a woman who has already faced a lot of hardships during ovarian cancer treatment. Discussed below are the methods of treatment for recurrent ovarian cancer.
Treatment Of Ovarian Cancer Recurrence
As most cases of recurrent ovarian cancer are difficult to treat and conventional medications do not often find the desired results, patients are mostly advised to participate in clinical trials.
Clinical trials however give only a slim chance of recovery as most of the medications that are administered are on a trial and error basis.
However, a lucky few will have miraculous changes due to the efficacy of the new drug that is administered. As clinical trials can sometimes even lead to the death of the patient, the decision has to be taken with careful analysis and after discussions with your loved ones and oncologist.
Platinum Sensitivity and Resistance in Ovarian Cancer
If ovarian cancer recurs after six months of remission, the disease is termed as platinum sensitive ovarian cancer. This means that chemotherapy which was platinum based did have a positive effect on the ovarian cancer.
When ovarian cancer recurs, normally more than one chemotherapy drug is used for the treatment to increase the efficiency of the outcome when it is a second line treatment. The patient needs to undergo 2-4 cycles to check the effectiveness of the drug.
When the ovarian cancer recurs within a period of six months after the initial treatment, one has to assume that the patient did not respond well to the chemotherapy treatment. She will thus be platinum resistant and hence chemotherapy drugs that are typically used will not have a positive effect on her.
However, there are other drugs which too can be tried independently without combining it with other drugs. If the secondary drugs fail to take effect the doctor does not have any other treatment method lined up other than palliative care.
Palliative care involves the use of medicines for reducing the growth of cancer and offering medications for pain relief and other discomforts that the patient will have throughout the end. This is done only to help the patient with mental, emotional and physical well being until she loses her life.
Though surgery cannot be termed as a treatment method for recurrent ovarian cancer, it is sometimes done after careful assessment of the cancer.
If the cancer is found to be a huge mass concentrated in a single area, then surgery can help as the cancer can be easily removed from the site. However, surgery may not still be effective if the cancer cells have escaped to other areas in the body and spread to the lymph nodes.