Better Treatment for Ovarian Cancer Shown
Researchers have learned that women with advanced ovarian
cancer who receive chemotherapy directly into their abdomen, as well as into a
vein, can improve survival rates by about 16 months. The National Cancer
Institute is urging doctors to treat their ovarian cancer patients with this
Ovarian cancer is highly treatable when caught early. But
most cases are caught in later stages, because the disease is difficult to
detect until the cancer has spread to other organs and tissue in the body.
Side effects of chemotherapy that goes directly into the
abdomen are more likely to occur, and they’re typically more severe than
chemotherapy that goes into a vein only. They include low white blood cell
count, infection, fatigue and pain. But many women who complete the regimen are
glad that they did, knowing their chances for longer survival are higher.
Research remains to be done to determine whether abdominal
chemotherapy is also beneficial for early stage ovarian cancer.
New England Journal of Medicine,
2 January 2006.