TREATMENT FOR OVARIAN CANCER
The most common blood test markers for the monitoring of epithelial ovarian cancer is elevated CA-125 levels. Other tumor markers that may be monitored include CA 19-9, CEA, and HE-4.
If a woman is found to have a familial history of ovarian and breast cancers, she could be tested for inherited mutations in the BRCA1, BRCA2 genes, which would inform the monitoring practices with her physician, and possible prophylactic surgical options to greatly reduce risk of disease.
The predominant treatment option for most ovarian cancers is surgery. Prior to surgery, the main goal is to properly stage the disease to see the severity of spread of the cancer. This will inform the debulking, or removal of the tumor. Proper debulking will remove all visible cancer, leaving nothing larger than 1 cm.
Chemotherapy treatment is the use of drugs to treat cancer. Most chemo drugs enter the bloodstream and kill very small cancer cells that remain after debulking surgery. Chemotherapy for ovarian cancer usually involves dual treatment of a platinum compound (usually a cisplatin or carboplatin), along with another chemo drug called a taxane (docetaxel or paclitaxel). This combination of drugs is given intravenously and cycled every four weeks, with the course of treatment dependent on histotype and cancer stage.