It is a sad reality that ovarian cancer is very rarely caught when it is still only in stages I or II, yet for those women fortunate enough to have the diagnosis made at that time, treatment promises recovery and good chances at complete remission and long term survival. Due to the aggressive nature of this kind of cancer, ovarian tumors are treated with very aggressive methods:
- The first course of action almost always recommended is a complete hysterectomy which essentially involves the removal of the entire reproductive organs, including uterus and also cervix. In addition, both ovaries and also the fallopian tubes are surgically removed. Other tissues may also be cut out, depending on the spreading of the cancerous cells. The downside of this treatment rests in the fact that it leaves the woman sterile and for those who are still in their childbearing years, this is a most serious blow. On the other hand, this extreme procedure ensures the future decrease in potential cancer outbreaks.
Most likely this surgery will be followed up with a course of radiation therapy. This kind of treatment targets any stray cancerous cells and seeks to destroy them with the help of radioactive rays.
Depending on the exact sub-staging of the disease there is a good chance that chemotherapy will be part and parcel of the treatment and it is generally this form of medication that has the most serious side effects. The drugs used in chemotherapy are used to kill the cancer cells yet in doing so sometimes also call perfectly healthy cells.
It is vital to remember that although stages I and II ovarian cancer are still very much contained to the ovaries and immediate tissues, the danger of spreading and future metastasizing is very real indeed, and to this end even when the treatment is concluded, physicians will maintain a close scrutiny on abnormal blood values that might tip them off to more areas of cancerous growth. Although the outlook for patients is very good at this point in the treatment, extreme vigilance is highly recommended.
Patients are urged to get to know their bodies and bodily reactions to several external as well as internal triggers. Since the hysterectomy will now alleviate the hormonal monthly bodily changes, patients need to relearn their bodies responses, the ups and downs of hormones brought on by stress, and also the effects of normal bodily functions on the system.
While it is no longer necessary to worry about abnormally shaped ovaries or the feelings of fullness, patients need to understand that the potential spread of cancer to other organs will have its own set of symptoms and it is imperative for these ovarian cancer survivors to work closely with their physicians to understand what to look out for.
Last but not least, this is also the time to change any destructive behavior patterns which might adversely affect the bodys potential for healing and future health. Change your diet to reflect the high fiber and low fat diets highly recommended and do not hesitate to engage in new exercises.
See Also: Recurrent and Sensitive Ovarian Cancer